SUNY Jefferson
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Jenna Ponte

When I fall apart
I'm the only one who will pick up the pieces,
because I'm the only one who's here,
the only one who sees,
the only one who knows.
I've put the pieces back time and time again
and am left with a jagged mess
that no longer resembles what it was,
what it could have been.
You say you can't see the pain,
but you're not even looking.
I can't ask for help,
because no one offers.
Over and over again I'm cut by my own self
with the mess I was left with.
I make others bleed
simply by being myself.
You call it "strength,"
I know it as "survival."
I've never had a choice,
I was never given a chance.
I'm doing my damnedest to keep myself together,
but it's not good enough for you.
It's easier to be abandoned
than for someone to stand beside me.
I was given no choice but to be strong
and you applaud me for it.
No one sees the broken, shattered parts
that I'm desperately trying to hold together.