By Jes Wright
I write because it’s the only way to save myself.
I write knowing that the way is filled with uncertainty.
I write, and yet I am too shy to share my words, so I don’t write, and then I’m worse off, so I write even more.
I write without looking down because I don’t want to scare myself into being quiet.
I write as a way to see beyond what it is that I think that I know.
I write sloppily.
I write in black ink, smearing words because I don’t let them dry.
I write as a way to see how I wear a mask of words pretending to be all right when I’m not.
I write leaving ink stains where I paused in mid-sentence.
I write in a little black notebook while sitting in a café where almost everyone else stares at their screens.
I write in that notebook unaware that I’m becoming hip without trying.
I write because I always have written even before it was popular to pour emotions across pages, and snap pictures of them.
I write without maps delineating the ways.
I write without pay because I’ll never be so abrasive or glamorous to want millions of followers. I simply don’t give a crap, but I do (because I’d like to stock my fridge with veggies bought from my own work—like that guy in Breakfast from Tiffany’s although he probably picked up a bottle of gin instead of broccoli).
I write to see the unspoken.
I write knowing that some words—soft translations of my thoughts—will never be shared online, or in my poetry books.
I write sitting cross-legged by a creek, occasionally putting down my pen, so I pick up pebbles to toss across the waters.
I write while I meditate, but then I’m not really meditating, so I stop writing in my head, and I meditate, but then I start writing again.
I write in the shower as the tea tree shampoo gets in my eyes.
I write—in the way that you do—to hear myself thinking out loud: some of it is clear, and other times it’s like waves crashing against the shoreline.
I write knowing that I will never be able to say everything that I want to say because I can’t out of respect for others.
I write saying “sorry” for the things that I wrote while being impulsive and playful.
I write wondering if any of these words even matter, and they do.
I matter, and so I must write.
Editor: Dana Gornall