It Scares Me When It Gets Like This

Helena Ainsworth

It scares me when it gets like this
and of course the scars frighten alien touch,
but at least they are tangible,
at least they are real.


When it gets like this,
it gets carnal, sounds erupt,
sounds like this that which
I could never again create.


And even the screams
I cannot hear,
eyes tightly shut
knuckles white between gripped hair,
lips stretched wide,
trying to articulate despair.


They are merely raw,
ear-shattering bombs
attacking my unexpecting conscious,
rendering me nearly comatose,
even though it is I
who throws the missiles.


When it gets like this:
my hands form a triangle,
my breathing forms a rhythm,
“I am calm,” I think,
and yet I know, I am exploding.


And that is why
the skunk smoke swirls,
the ink of life drips,
the body hungers.
That is when I get scared,
When it gets like this,
When I remember how it was
And how it still could be.

HELENA AINSWORTH is a seventeen-year-old current resident of the United States who has moved over twenty-one times, lived on two different continents, in four different states. At the moment, she lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She finds much of her inspiration in the State Park she often explores with her dog and beloved companion, Copper. She has won the Smith College Annual High School Poetry Prize for 2013 as well as being a Topical Winner of the Live Poets Society of New Jersey High School Poetry Prize for the Summer of 2013.

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