(after Elliott Smith)
There is a home found in between two stab wounds,
where I encounter a stranger in Portland.
You are: music. Habitable and makeshift
custody for razor blades, heroin needles,
not to remember again. I, too,
hold a weight of paranoia, diagnosis on my shoulders
before I am reminded that ideation
is dangerous enough when things get too heavy.
Not that there is a lover encompassed within a song.
Boys do not love girls who do not romanticize
plastic pill bottles, the depths of addictive
fuckery, a safekeeper of glass shards,
sexual advances and melancholia.
So in parental condemnation I listen to
men launch themselves off buildings much like how a hawk
pickpockets the terror of a mouse,
learn how to spell a name with two Ts on a Post-it.
They measure birdshot to weigh as much as my depression does,
and I become lethargic and ask, what is the
most eloquent way to write a suicide note?
I learned the words “sorry” and “love” work wonders
when catatonia kicks in during a waltz,
when another unlovable girl ignores her parents’
warnings about strangers, only to find amity inside you.
Audrey Lee is an 18-year-old senior at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and will be attending Franklin and Marshall College this coming fall. She is a 30-time regional winner of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the winner of the 2016 DeSales University poetry contest. She has attended the University of Virginia Young Writers Workshop and the Ithaca Writers Institute, and edits her school literary magazine, The Epolitan. Her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from The Claremont Review, Rookie, YARN: The Young Adult Review Network, Canvas Literary Journal, Moledro Magazine, and Blue Marble Review.