I have lived a life of abandonment,
left behind by those I love,
wondering if just once someone will stay.
I am left hollowed by these memories,
afraid one day even those who
have made their mark
and say they won’t leave,
will turn their backs
like so many have before.
I worry people stay
out of commitment
because of an obligation
they feel they need to uphold.
Blood, money, love
has since lost its pull,
their gravity no longer in my favour.
I dream of a day where
I’m no longer terrified,
that once again I will be sitting
on the cusp of reinvention .
I dream to be unafraid of the rot
that fills the cracks in my soul
where the ones I love used to be.
I’m here again
I thought I saw you
from a distance
My oldest vice
Coming to haunt
the life I’ve fought for
Blood and tooth and bone
grinding until I came anew
A present reminder
An undeniable truth
That this is not the life that I deserve
This is new for me.
Life beyond seventeen was never meant to happen,
yet here I stand, unsure about what comes next.
I always thought if I made it to this point, I’d just be happy —
Happy to live, laugh, and enjoy the sunshine,
but somehow, underneath the ultraviolet rays, I still find a way to be sad
The sadness comes as waves, at the mercy of the moon and medication,
pulling me in, then washing me back to shore,
whispering promises of a calm sea to come someday soon.
Sometimes the sadness seems so far away that I feel like I’m floating;
I am the one in control, paddling out into the surf,
eager to advance against the raging tides.
But when the highs and the lows have passed,
I am left the same —
feeling nothing and everything at once.
I am bound to this land
Hundreds of centuries of culture
Bleeding into my bones
I am a child of the serpent
Carrying on the spirits of those past
Blessed with the same water
And blue skies as my ancestors
I am a foundling of Hecate
A follower of the ancient ways
My worship driven by a hungry soul
I am a daughter of the colony
An imperial remnant
Ashamed but connected to my history
I am all of these things
Yet I am told to pick one life
One defining feature to make my identity
More palatable for a white bread society
For the first time
I know my identity
And for the first time
I will not bow and buckle to fit into a box
labelled by those around me
Kira Louise is a writer and avid mental-health advocate, born and based in Meanjin (Brisbane). Her poetry documents her journey toward a happier life, with a few Bipolar pit stops along the way. She has been published previously in ScratchThat magazine and One Woman Project’s Isolation Anthology.