my initials are BA. stands for badass
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The Last Semester


bottles of booze
intoxication’s former household
sit inside palm of recycling bin

several guilty gulps earlier
my mind lures intoxication
to leave their house
slide down my pipe
connecting to furnace of temple
my stomach
my mind shouts at legs to surrender
legs topple at condescending sound
brown naked torso eats chili of concrete
as intoxication sprints from stomach throughout my red streams
the weight of my entire body presses onto the floor
trying to dissipate
trying to fuse with the floor
so that i can transform into it


no feelings or thoughts about you
one who receives carefully picked sunflower
1st placeholder for my heart
but you hang me upside down to dry
tire within a month that i no longer offer you a fresh scent
and throw me aside instead like a weed
precise and without care
as i lay there
heaving heavy
heart pounding faster than when i jump down stairs
skateboard gripping shoes
ribs transforming
now barbwires
piercing my discolored shades of brown body
mind swirling for methods to cut my life’s thread short
i question why my heart feels more for you
than on the day my mother’s spirit leaves physicality
counselor calls this complicated grief
a subjective recipe for depression
add 2 shards of a heart broken by lying love
stir with unanswered questions of 8 year old me
about why his mother has cold hands
and lays in a white dress in an hollow tree
about to be put in the ground
puree with indecipherable hymns from relatives
bake for 13 years
and sprinkle with deconstructive criticism
and high expectations from Pops and Manang throughout

and yet
monitors of my body don’t register anything
when mommy’s name comes on the radar
but only for this first and past love
depression looks like this to me
half naked, messy mind from imbibing
hugging the cold of the floor
to press my thoughts on something else other than you
laying there
time keeps asking me to stand
my eyes breathe when my phone starts to sing
my friend from high school
though has own recipe for depression
tells me he’s outside to help
i wobble downstairs
his voice holds me
carries me as i stagger to his apartment
on his roommate’s bed
my mind crashes into sleep

next morning
he hands me a read on suicide
line 3 of 10 minute read holds me
realigns my view
suicide: when pain outweighs helpful resources
on balance of scale
a feeling
only feel if i keep spinning my life’s thread
not cut it short
somehow, this line allows me to spin today

so yes, this post is late. but Wednesday, i was triggered by so many different past experiences. it was very bad. i had to leave school a bit earlier than i would and i had to go home to practice self-care correctly. i slept tuesday-wednesay night/ morning at 2am and woke up at 5:30am to write this poem. i got my midterm portfolio back and didn't do as well because some of my poems just weren't personal enough and were too ambiguous. i knocked out today at 7am and just woke up right now and said I needed to post this because I said I would do this. technically, i'm not late because i made this wednesday, i just didn't post. but i know that i need to be forgiving with myself and my expectations. everyone has really hard days. the last week has been remarkably good, but i have to remind myself that it's so easy to fall off anywhere with mental health. while i've learned good self-care practices, i need to be a bit more kind to myself when push comes to shove. i think the reason why is because of the midterm portfolio, but one thing that i did do was make sure that i didn't go talk with the STP as soon as class was over, but rather sit with what happened. this was a tip that was always told to us in high school. good tip

this poem. it wasn't too hard for me to write. yes it took awhile and it is probably the most vunerable poem i have written, but i feel like i can go further. i don't know why it's so easy for me to be vulnerable with people and to be an open book. i think that's why i was so put off by the grading because it's an academic course that has guidelines. i'm stil trying to navigate/negate this right now. but right now, i need to transcribe instead of getting sleep. it sucks, but i'm so behind. i think i'm most likely going to email my professor for soc to tell him that this week just got away from me. but luckily i've learned that i need to be kind to myself and i'm doing that very well. right now, i'm not so sure because i need to transcribe, but one thing i will do is take care of the rose tattoo above my heart. that's the best self-care that i can do right now.

Bradley Afroilan