I could not choose my family, and
if they could have chosen, I know
they would not have chosen me.
But I can choose my friends and here,
at 2 AM, I know I have chosen well.
Soon, our downstairs neighbors
will come pounding on our door.
We are too loud for these
high moon times, these
stillness save the owl times.
But for now no one
dares interrupt us, and we
are plainly joyous.
Our laughter knows no shame.
As I throw my head back
and let giggles rise
from my stomach into my mouth,
like soda pop,
I know that no matter the cruelty
I imagine for myself in the morning.
The hurt to be performed against
my own body or that of the ants
that infest our living room
I will be loved
like the sun loves.
With a warmth, consistency
that’s hard to look at, somedays.
"Cam Kelley is a poet, fiction writer, aspiring teacher, and undergraduate student from Southern Maryland. She loves to stand on the beach with her face towards the sun, and create poetry that generates a similar warmth. When not writing, she can be found baking or working on her senior thesis. She has been published in the Scholastic Best Teen Writing of 2016 and Left of the Lake Magazine."
i asked followers and friends to tell me why they’re alive. why they stayed. this is what happened.
thank you for your life and presence. stay safe. stay alive.
Would you like to contribute to a second edition of this post? Feel free to send your own answer to our email or via social media. You will be kept anonymous.
This post marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Today we are launching a new space, called Safe & Brave. This will be an ongoing space for poetry, fiction, essay, and visual arts, full of safety, bravery, and staying alive. To contribute, send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org, the subject line SAFE. We look forward to working with you.
a space to roam freely
you are necessary and brave, and you are strong. you are smart. you are worth every step it takes to stay alive. you are capable, significant, and brave, even when it feels like you’re not.