light darkness depression
Photo courtesy of Cassoday Harder

Whenever I think I’ve moved on, I realize that I am the ghost haunting my own body.

I keep finding his name inked, hidden in the corners of my skin, tucked behind my ear, under my tongue, in the crook of my knee.

If I hold someone too close, his name rubs off. In photographs, I can find his name inked into the back of everyone I’ve ever loved.

There was this one time that I went looking for my hands and I couldn’t find them for three days. When my hands reappeared, they were roped together behind my back.

Whenever I think I’ve forgotten, all it takes is a little rope burn and he’s standing in front of me again, laughing, vivid as a photograph with his hands out.

I’ve tried to train myself to cry in the shower, so I don’t end up crying on the train. Now, I just do both.

I google him reliably every six months, but only about once a year do I truly hope he’s dead. Usually, I simply pray he’s alive and very far away.

No matter how many times I cut off his head, it just keeps growing back – not a hair out of place.

I wonder every day when I’ll get to the living part of all of this surviving – the day when I’ll look down at my hands and just find my hands. Wouldn’t that be a miracle?





Carol BrownCarol Brown is a Brooklyn-based performance poet and student. She is currently pursing a BA in Literary Studies & Psychology at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts. Carol has released two spoken word and poetry fusion albums, Elements, Portraits Etc. and Seasons and Other Imperfect Circles with The Fractal Ensemble. At only 20 years old, Carol has already been featured at the 2014 and 2015 New York City Poetry Festivals, the 2014 TedYouth Conference, the 2013 Ideas City festival, the Jersey City Slam, Art House Productions, Lightbox and on Indiefeed. When not otherwise occupied, she delights in ranting about cultural appropriation, privilege, feminism, and the social construction of gender. She really likes purple.

Cassoday Harder is a twenty-something-year-old photographer inspired by youth, femininity, and summer. View more of her work on Flickr or visit her website.

Leave a Reply