Written by Sarah, from Oregon City, OR
A 2019 Winter Institute participant
A completely unverified list:
77% of poets, 54% of writers,
50% of artists, 46% of musicians
have an emotional disorder.
Walking the halls of my school,
I see no books, baggy clothes
stretched-out shoes, dirty faces,
and curious, skull-
splitting smiles.
I see hunger pulling on faces,
showing bones and sockets.
Addiction snips at their synapses
until signals stop and
their words slow.

I hear in their outbursts, “Please”
and in their silences, “I’m done.”
I come back everyday, smile
shiny and voice tinny.
I fight for them to bloom.

I drive home, attempting to stay
emotionally ordered.
I wonder about the poets,
writers, artists, and musicians.