Prize Poetry

My Recovery

by a young woman age 18

The truth about recovery?
It’s a process meant to break you.
Recovery is a demanding bitch.
A shadow of what you are
beating you senseless into what you are striving to be
Pulling you up by your withered wrists.
And robbing you of every inch of the skin that you’re comfortable in.

Because comfort was not part of the agreement.
But having a powder blue glove shoved heavy and cold into your gut is.
Pulling out pills and broken wreckage.
Chipping the decaying hate from the fleshy walls of your stomach.
Placing compliance in your mouth
because if it doesn't hurt then you don't really want it.

Taking your eyes and pulling them out because they're both dry glassy and haunted.
Giving the drums to your ears a different base
Because everything you shoved down those raw and rubbed canals was dank garbage.
Taking out razor blades and dusty pill bottles because depression and anxiety
Forced you to forget what grieving in moderation is.

Another powdered glove spots a forgotten fuck up.
Or as you knew her,
A skeleton of a girl with her head still bowed for thin.
Recovering is pain and damaging truthfulness
Meant to mold you into a new you
But leave enough scars
So you never forget the process
From which you rose from black ashes
Like a cautious but strong phoenix.

[Author statement: "I have been writing with Pongo now for about six years if I remember correctly. I write not only as a coping skill or a way of healing. But also because it is my way of communication. I'm not the biggest social person. But Pongo has helped me come out of my shell a little more. With my writing and in general. I am appreciative that there is something like this around. Because without them I would not have a lot of the things that I do now. And I don't think I would have made it this far without writing.”]

Honorable Mentions, May 2015
Where Am I?
Dear Brother