Prize Poetry

Cry My Stress-Tears at Night

by Natalie (Zine Project, Seattle)

I stress about things.
I don’t even know why I’m stressing about them.
I stress about everyone. Not even myself.
The hours I lose to boredom.
The minutes I lose to goofing off.
My relationship: What am I doing? Is it worth it? Why am I saying these things?
I worry about my self image. Can I pass today?
Am I going to have another person barking
Down my throat for being myself?
Am I going to have to worry about getting harassed?
I worry about my friends. Where they are and if they’re sober.
And if they’re happy and safe. And if they know I care.
I worry about my family. Like my mom
Like if we’re ever going to be a family again.

All this stress
Drives me insane. Makes me act weird
Makes me question my sanity,
Makes me hug my pillow and cry my stress-tears at night,
Drops of instant insanity
That if they touched your forehead could burn a hole straight through.

If I could, I’d throw it all up,
Like one giant puke of stress-rainbow
With a doom-prism of indescribable colors
Sent to rest in the porcelain god’s tomb.

When I’d be free
From this pain in my gut
And this ache in my hands
And this tear-soaked pillow,
I’d be able to think
And not have to force a smile.

[Author Statement: "Writing for me is about telling the truth. I write what I experience and what I feel. My writings can be judged, however, but I hope that when people finish reading my writings they leave with some emotion and knowledge of my struggles. When I first started the Zine Project , I wanted to get my work out there so that people could read it and relate. My former boss at the internship turned me on to Pongo which I truly like now."]

Other "Honorable Mention" Recipients, October 2012
To Be Me
That First Apple