This is For You – Nicholas Sanchez

In Southern California,
The weather can always be classified under one of two categories:
Hot,
And not as hot.
And yet, there’s this girl,
Who always wears long sleeves.

Whether it be a sweater, jacket, or hoodie,
She always wears long sleeves.

She wears these sleeves so that no one can see
What’s hidden underneath.
Because, y’see, some teens may decorate their bodies
With piercings or tattoos
Or even Sharpie drawings.
But this girl instead decorates hers with scars of her own design,
Scars, which she had tried to hide/

She says she did it because of the pressures from society
And because of her depression.
And I understand, I really do
But cutting is no solution.
We all stumble and struggle, no one’s excluded.
But it should never have to go that far,
Her beauty should be free of scars.

She and I both dealt with our problems in the same way:
We took to writing,
But we used different tools.

Instead of a paper, she used her bare flesh,
Instead of a pen, she used a blade.
Instead of ink, she used her blood, which would run all over her page.

Each cut was a poem, a story, a tale of woe.
Each slash was an attack at the world.

As she wrote
She would say, under breath: “This is for you.”
As the blade would violateĀ her skin and penetrate her flesh
She’d say: “This is for you.”
As the blade would draw out her blood,
And as that blood would flood onto her page,
She’d say: “This is for you.”
And as she withdrew her blade,
And prepared it for a new poem,
She’d whisper, with tears in her eyes, “This is for you.”

And after she finished writing,
She’d pull down her sleeves
And hope no one would see
Past her disguise
And discover the sadness hidden in her eyes
But her facade was flawed,
And we all saw what was underneath her sleeves.
But only after it had gone on for so long.

Everything is clear in hindsight,
We had seen the signs
But never connected the dots.
We could have been able to stop this
Before it had ever begun.

But the damage has been done,
The blades had won.

But the fears and pressures of society
Won’t affect her any longer,
Because I know that she is stronger
Than any cut of blade.
And I just want to say to her:

“You should stop thinking of others:
“Fuck what society expects,
“Fuck people’s respect,
“Fuck all those mean little kiddies who think they know shit.
“Their opinions don’t define you,
“And if in some way they do,
“Then you’re not being true to yourself.
“Don’t use their criticisms
“As standards for how you should be living/
“You need not continue to live this lie,
“Once you realize how many people you have behind you,
“All the people who love you,
“Who care about you,
“Who miss you,
“Who cry for you,
“Who fight for you,
“Who would die for you.
“And believe me, they will die for you.
“When you’re back’s against the wall,
“When you’re about to fall,
“We will be there for you.
“To shield you.
“To catch you,
“To bring you on your feet,
“And walk hand in hand with you.
“And we won’t hesitate.
“We will break your constraints
“Without batting an eye.
“We will lay down on the ground and die
“Without any doubt.”

“Don’t underestimate our love.
“We will do anything that will help you rise above
“This.”

“So again,
“Don’t believe your false friends.
“Don’t let their devilish whispers
“Drown out the thunder of our cries.
“Because even if you hurt us,
“Even if our vision is blurred by our tears
“And our steps are faltered by our broken hearts,
“We will scream for you.
“We will scream until we thaw the ice
“That has frozen your heart.
“We will scream for you
“To stop the hurt,
“To put down the pills,
“To set aside the drink,
“To step away from the blade,
“And to roll up your sleeves.
“Because we know you.
“I know you.”

“And this,
“This person you believe yourself to be,
“Isn’t you,
“I know you,
“I’ve seen you.”

“I’ve seen you
“When you’re happy,
“When you’re angry,
“When you’re hopeless.
“I’ve seen you,
“When you smile,
“When you laugh,
“When you cry.
“I’ve seen you when you’ve felt alone.
“Yes,
“I was there.
“And I always will be.
“And if you don’t believe that,
“Believe this:”

“I did this for you.
“This care,
“This emotion,
“This writing,
This LOVE,”
“…”

“This is for you.”

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