don’t tell your mother
about the painting you have of a gun in the back of your room.
don’t tell her about the time you put into it
about how you made sure every edge was exact and every curve
linear. don’t make her watch you attach
shells to its edges so it looks
a little less vicious. don’t burn your wrist
with the hot glue gun. don’t draw a butterfly
with the glue
because that’s not the way the project is
supposed to go. don’t show your friends
the old scars on your skin because they’ll ask
if you’re seeing a special therapist
for that. don’t tell your mother
that when you think about the future you can feel your brain
cells popping and your organs churn up
vomit that you haven’t let loose since that
binge two years ago where you started
with Cheetos so you would know when you could finally
don’t tell your father
your depression is because of him, he doesn’t deserve that much credit.
don’t take a psychology class because your friends will expect you to be smart
and able to diagnose them for free. don’t mix your medications
with wine. don’t mix your birth control
with cigarettes. don’t mix your friends
with your people. don’t say goodbye
to your favorite teacher because if you don’t say
it’s the end, is it really over?
don’t message the boy you desperately
want to talk to, message the loser from your hometown
instead and meet him for a quickie in the back of his car. don’t let yourself
become hollow. don’t fill your cracks with sugar.
your bones won’t stick together with simple syrup.
S. Makai Andrews is a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been recognized in multiple genres in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition, as well as the 2015 Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest, and has been published in The Noisy Island, Teenage Wasteland, and Lip Magazine, among others. In the future she hopes to further her studies in creative writing and psychology.