my initials are BA. stands for badass
Bradley Senior College.png

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 its house
its warmth slides down my pipe into my empty tummy
fuzziness flushes my face
my mind shouts at legs to surrender
my brown naked torso slaps onto freezing floor
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
first love who receives
carefully picked sunflower from my quivering hand
the 1st placeholder for my heart
but like this flower 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 jabs my ribs harder now
than it does on the day my mother’s spirit leaves her body

counselor calls this complicated grief
a subjective recipe for depression
add 2 shards of a heart broken by flimsy love
not solid like concrete
stir with still hanging questions of 8 year old me
about why his mother’s hands feel cold
lays in a white dress in an hollow tree
now descending into dark ditch of ground
puree with indecipherable hymns from relatives
bake for 13 years after mom’s passing
and sprinkle with deconstructive criticism
and high expectations from Pops and Manang throughout

and yet
my body’s scanners 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 on top filthy tiles
my ribs fasten tight into the face of the ground
time keeps asking me to stand
my eyes breathe when my phone starts to sing
my friend from high school with own recipe for depression
tells me he waits outside to help

i wobble downstairs
his voice holds me
carries me as my brown boots stagger to his tan apartment
on top of itchy covers of his roommate’s skinny bed
my drooping face slumps
my muddled mind crashes into sleep

next morning
his hands layout a page in front of my eyes about suicide
line 3 of 10 minute read holds me
realigns my view
”suicide: pain outweighing 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

poetry for the people. thank you.
thank you for giving me words to gain clarity.
thank you for helping me get through the obstacles in my way.
thank you for letting have some closure.

Bradley Afroilan