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  • Writer's pictureLippy

On Being Human

TW: Self-harm


I fear I will never truly be human

to know how to inhabit a body; making walls out of my skin and art from my scars.

Sometimes, I watch my body, from six feet under, as though I am already dead;

she smiles and laughs at all the right times

but no one is home making the bed or preparing dinner.

Numbness consumes her, freezing her in place,

in her bed, in her room

I am locked in her mind, just watching her.


She blinks


and we’re in a club, drinking and dancing and laughing at all the right times.

A puppet performing for some cruel master;

I meet god outside in the smoking area,

a beacon amidst the haze of neon lights;

shrouded with smoke; blurred by her tears.

I beg him to let me go from this corporeal prison –


he doesn’t

and I’m forced to watch as she sits there peeling herself apart, a bloodied orange

waiting to be devoured.

I worry that she will stain her clothes,

as though her own hands aren’t permanently dyed

with the blood she draws, trying not to die –

an artist of razor blades

painting a map to my fears in brilliant scarlet


I’m scared I’ll never belong to myself


Blood pools on our skin and it is here that I blur into her.

I bleed to be human,

and maybe to be human is to cope.

I crawl out of September covered in blood and

the skeletons that hid in my closet now hide beneath long sleeves,

but I stand before these beautiful bones and beg to not leave her again.


Words: Alina Ebenezer, she/her

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