MHAM Submission - Emily Dack


The Girl On Canvas by Emily Dack

Give me a moment
To cease the flutter I've discovered under my drowning lungs
These lungs
This force
This undying force that has the power to convince me
"Call an ambulance, let me leave
Give me those pills, please"
Why was I not good enough?
And the power to bring me back to that place of tranquility once again

I am the navy man on this ship that I call my sanity
I am tossed and kneaded in this filthy, polluted ocean full of so much life
Yet so unforgiving when what I need most in those moments and the words I must say cannot be uttered

Mostly now, those little blue capsules are dissolved in the rapids and I swallow so much I grow three times my size
Than myself
Bigger than the girl who ran to the bathroom every class period to regain that tranquility she so desired
Bigger than the girl who felt things like no one around her

I did not intend to startle you, my friend
To flip a switch and altar your pretty perception of my pain
To throw salt water on the canvas and wash away the alluring abstract art you made in my name
I am so sorry, but that painting is not of me
She can contain her pain and distract from the fact that she is fighting more than you can see

Random chemicals make it easier to breathe, though
An orange bottle with my name and the rush of tranquility that accompanies it
And day by day I am becoming more and more like the girl on canvas
My hands can mold the waters as I please
I am a god
A wonderful mess of arteries and capillaries

My sea tossed hair and pink sunburnt skin will be a message to those who are learning how to sail their own boats, a sign that says
I feel what you feel
And my lungs have their own brain just like yours

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