When I was fifteen I tried to kill myself
by swallowing pills and gin.
At the mental hospital they stabbed
with thick needles, not really caring
if they hit the vein first try, just digging.
Pretty quick the crook of both arms
bruised over and scabbed.
The milk in the lunchroom came in bags
meant to be punctured by straws
and tasted like hormones and glue.
I was there over Fourth of July.
My roommate was a girl named Charlie,
the best cutter I ever met,
scars on her thighs thick as ropes.
She said it went so deep she nearly bled
to death but that she never intended
Tiny windows in our room scratched-up
Shatterproof glass. Through them
we watched the fireworks from Sea World.