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Updated: Apr 21, 2023

I have so many feelings inside of me

That sometimes I’m afraid I will drown in them.

I am scared I will get caught in a riptide,

Pulled in by the tug of a single stray thought

Until I am floating at sea, a lone figure

Among the endless waves all around me.

I know I have what society calls achievements.

I have had rounds of applause, shiny trophies

Acceptance letters, report cards, and scholarships

But when I turn my head in the mirror

I can still see the emptiness resting in my eyes.

My hand on my chest, I can still feel the black hole

That pulses in time with my heartbeat.

I feel certain I would give it all to the wind

For even the faintest hint of something more.

I picture the friends I love most, standing out

Like jewels amidst a pile of leaves.

Even they, I know, I would sacrifice instantly,

If I thought it would appease the sadness inside of me.

Would, perhaps, there be a person who is like me?

Is anyone else a flower planted in the middle of the night

Forever stretching towards sunlight that never appears?

Is anyone else a river running downhill

But never reaching a destination?

Anyone else a beginning with no end?

Anyone else a heart full of complexities

But no eyes with which to examine it?

In my dreams, the bitter wind of the East

Blows in with the blinding sun.

Wildflowers bloom in all of my veins

And the face in the mirror smiles at me.

The shrouded face takes off the veil,

And the darkness slips away,

As if it were all nothing more than a dream.

For now, I am but a fly, caught in a web.

But I can smell the cherry blossoms in the air

Spring is coming, for those who know where to look.

Someday, I hope, I will feel the peace

That can only come from being an ocean

And no more the despair of being lost in an ocean.

Erin Mullens is an American writer who currently lives in Seoul, South Korea. Her hobbies include reading, going to art museums, and hiking in the woods. She has previously been published in Cathartic Youth Literary magazine. You can follow her on Instagram at @moonchildisuhgood.

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Published in issue 5


Published in issue 5


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