You cannot explain what it feels like to want to die
Cannot use words to explain an affliction beyond human comprehension
Or how every path worn into the dirt beneath my feet leads me into the darkness
The night

You cannot explain what it feels like to be okay with this.
To make peace with the part of you that’s already rotting.
Carefully crafting it a final resting place out of the finest pine
Carrying it on your back and in your arms
A weight you train your body to bear
And still somedays it will crush you

It is weight nobody can feel unless it has been placed on their own shoulders
A weight people think you can just set down
You cannot explain to them how you will never recover from lost battles with your sanity
You cannot explain how no one deserves your recovery
You cannot explain it without someone begging you to think of others before you hurt yourself
Like their grief is worth more than the life they think you have given up on
And somehow your pain is never about you
And somehow your pain is now about them

Do not try to explain it.
Because if it is possible for them to understand it then they already know
They’ll already laugh with you at jokes that would put unburdened teeth on edge
They know the weight of that pine box
They know what it means to live always wanting to lay down in it
And you will see the relief in their eyes when you speak of your death like a common cold
And they will know they can be safe with you
That they will never have to explain anything to you
Assure you of anything.
But they can speak of it
Be honest with their agonies
And ragged with their edges
Bleed like we always have been bleeding
No need to hide
And for those burdened people
For you
I wrote this poem


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Fira (they/them/he/him) is a poet residing in Tkaronto (Toronto). Their work focuses on the topics of mental health, queerness, and healing through art. They have competed at the national level on poetry teams for Guelph and Burlington, as well as helped organize the youth poetry festival Voices of Today. | @fira_astrali


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