As I was doodling and daydreaming during class one day, Sylvia Plath’s poem “Lady Lazarus” popped into my mind. Inspired by the line “I eat mean like air”, I wrote the last stanza of my poem. Excited by this last stanza, I began to construct a poem around my personal growth and development.
This poem is a reflection on the mental health struggle I encountered last summer while traveling abroad alone. It was inspired by the journey of self-reflection that I underwent during those difficult four months. It is a reminder to myself about the importance of self-love and the ability each of us has to grow and learn through our struggles.
I existed between sand and air
my earth was the sand.
She ate me as I fell through,
an effect of the loss I felt that summer.
A full entity of non-existence,
she had to learn to love the pain
and then she became obsessed with the thrill of it,
which overtook every inch of her body.
Drained in a pool of burgundy nails,
She convinced herself that you could save her.
She wished at that moment that she was man
and when she realized she wasn’t,
she became seduced by the norm of you.
Her covert exploitation of self
caused an effusion of at first, unbearableness
and then, lightness - it was then that
the era of ethereal self-love began.
And in the end,
her suspension through rings of flames
taught her to eat the air and
swallow the earth.
By Tarina Touret.
Girls and femme-identifying people simultaneously need to practically break their necks to be as feminine as possible while being constantly belittled for femininity, all for the end goal of being in a straight relationship with a man who will appreciate their beauty. Why can’t we just value ourselves without a man’s approval?
Every time I pass her building, when the family gets together for dinners, as her favorite song plays in my shuffled playlist; she is everywhere…I didn’t know how much of me was made of her, and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand, but having you here is something I’ll forever be grateful for.
I remember yearning to feel the intrinsic bond every child seems to share with grandparents, But the title “abuelos (grandparents)” did not make them any less of strangers to me. In that moment I thought, maybe, if we had more in common, that connection would instantaneously spark.