Shedding Petals

Shedding Petals

A girl went missing on December 9th and her name was Kayla Campbell, also known as Elianna, her Russian name. Elianna had been struggling with depression. She lived in an orphanage in Russia before she was adopted by a family in North Carolina.

This is for the people who go days without eating solid food, for the people who have stood on top of eight-story buildings with outstretched arms and closed eyes; this is for the people who have jumped and all those who didn’t. This is for the people who bang their heads against walls, who draw butterflies on their wrists, who listen to Birdy or The Smiths or Dillon. This is for the people whose tears feel like acid running down their cheeks; this is for the people with broken hearts and those who cut their fingers trying to piece them back together. This is for the people with old souls, people with no souls, people with lost souls, people who can’t fall asleep at night. This is for the people who have cabinets filled with antidepressants and benzodiazepines, for the people who are too afraid to step outside, who find solace in the pain that destroys them, for the people who stare into the water and throw stones at their reflection.

This is for the girl who wrote poems and took pictures and shared her life with the hundreds who are now hoping for her safe return. This is for Elianna.

Nine Months

We will remember this moment
like bedtime stories our mother
never told us, the kettle
whistling in the kitchen, chicken
stew bubbling; we held hands as
we watched the dancing candlelight;
and somewhere outside our
window, cars screeched to a
halt in front of red lights.
I’m pregnant.

A Delicate Silence

This love is like an instrumental.
The sound of words bouncing
off drums onto steel pans,
the fingers of passion whisking
across guitar strings. Listen to
the silence between the beats
of our hearts.

Do you hear the music?

Denicia Jones, Age 17, Grade 12, Brooklyn College Academy, Silver Key

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