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i.

You are born with twisted feet
and a pockmark on your chest.
Your poor mother is drenched in sweat,
straining to breathe,
thanking God that it's over.

She cradles you in her arms
and kisses your forehead with curved lips.
Your father reaches out to hold you
but has to pause because
your mother will not release you yet.

The family pays a visit,
hovering in awe, praising, laughing.
You look around for someone to blame.

ii.

When you learn to write
you use all the wrong letters
because you feel sorry for the ones
that get left out, like X and Z.
And you wear mismatched clothes
because you don't like the idea that
only certain colors "go together."

The first time you are punched
in the face it is by a girl with pigtails and braces.
You're sitting on a swing,
digging your toes into the dirt,
when she approaches
and says she thinks you're weird.
You tell her she's even weirder, and her fist
goes sailing into your jaw.
You're red and sore for two days.

You meet your first crush
on bleachers that overlook a baseball field.
He's not a ballplayer,
but you wish he was because
you want to see him swing a bat.
You want to see him score a home run.
But he's not an athlete, he's a reader.
His nose is in a book.
You want to talk to him, but can't find
the right words.
So you silently watch him read.
He never looks back at you.

iii.

When you are thirteen
you walk in on a girl slicing her wrists
in a public restroom.
You don't know how she could have forgotten
to close the door, but there she is
for all to see, slumped against
the toilet seat as though
waiting for someone to pull her up.
But you're not there to be a hero,
so instead you sit down beside her
and ask, "Can I try?"

Your mother has to hide
all the kitchen knives from you
and it makes you sick. You sit up all night,
restless and nauseous, clawing
at your healing skin.

When your parents tell you
they're getting divorced, you don't say a thing.
They're adults
and you want them to be happy.
But then they make you choose between them
and when you don't, your mother decides
for you and your father empties
a .38 into his mouth.

He's kind enough to leave a note.
It says, "I love you. Goodbye."
And you're sure it's to you
because it's signed "Dad."

iv.

Your second crush is much older
than you and that worries your mother.
He smokes and drinks and gambles.
He wears trench coats and sunglasses and drops
the f-bomb more than anyone else you know.
You tell him about your father.
He tells you about prison.

Your mom walks in on you
when he's in your room. You're naked
and so is he. He freezes,
his hand just inches from your chest.
Your mother's scream vibrates the whole house.
He grabs his clothes and leaves.
You know you'll never see him again.

That night you wander into
your mother's room and sit on her bed.
You try to slap her, but she catches your wrist.
So instead you lie down, curl into a ball,
and pretend to be dead.
But she knows you're faking
because tears pour from your eyes,
and dead bodies don't cry.

v.

You leave home
as soon as you are old enough,
but there is nowhere for you to go
so you come back.
You pick up drinking, drown yourself in the glass.
No one is there to catch you
when you topple over.
No one is there to watch you
rise back up.

You spend the next couple of months
on your knees, cleaning the poison out
by leaning over toilets and retching.
You miss your crushes,
and the girl who punched you in the face,
and your mismatched clothes,
and your father.
You read his last letter to you,
trace your finger along the lines
scribbled on the page.

You start to cry, and you're so grateful
for that because it means you're not dead.
Cry, and be grateful.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-09-13
TheEmptyChest skillfully uses second person to create an emotionally charged poem about growing up in Dead Bodies Don't Cry ( Suggested by GuinevereToGwen and Featured by DorianHarper )
:icongrimmassassin:
GrimmAssassin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I come back to this poem every couple months and it hits me harder each time.
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Aww, thank you! :aww:
Reply
:iconshehrozeameen:
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I found this work was very fluid in its presentation, and I agree, the second person approach was used effectively in this poem. In all honesty, though, I'll admit that I didn't cry when I reached the ending of this poem. I guess I just think that girl made all the dumb decisions any person without good counsel would make. Especially when it concerns her second crush - I could've almost sworn I had been the one in her shoes - which actually made me wonder more about myself and how I and she might - morbid as this might sound - have more in common than I originally thought... Its a thought which sends shivers down my spine to be honest.

I don't like the girl (for the reason specified) but I guess that, she being a construct, it doesn't matter if I like her or not - because I can relate with her, and I can be her (and I have many things in common with her apparently) for which reason this work deserves the DD. Keep writing and keep posting.
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014
Thank you. I'm glad you think the poem is well-constructed, even if you aren't particularly sympathetic to the girl. You're spot on about her second crush: her relationship with him was the result of a lack of guidance and direction. I can definitely see myself in her, even though I've never been in her exact situation, and it's scary for me too.

Thank you very much! I'm happy you think the DD was deserved. And thanks for the honesty, it's much appreciated. :D 
Reply
:iconshehrozeameen:
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:) True.

:hug: Anytime. With your works, its better to be honest and tell what is felt - the works speak for themselves very often, and the recognition they get is worth it :thumbsup:

Looking forward to reading more of your works whenever I can manage.
Reply
:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wait... I can't find my comment on this piece :confused: did you hide it or something ^^;
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014
I never hide comments unless they're spam, troll comments, or they're extremely hateful, so most likely you didn't leave me one. 
Reply
:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That is so wrong of me :iconcryingplz: but seriously, this work was in my 'best works' folder due to which I featured you (did you know I featured you :stare:) but it doesn't have any comment... that is strange. No worries. You are featured ^^;
Reply
:iconsupercheeseme:
Supercheeseme Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

This actually made me cry.

I never cry. It's so sad. I would miss my father and wear black everyday.

Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013
:huggle:
Reply
:iconintroverted-ghost:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013   Writer
I'm not entirely sure how I over-looked this. It's rather good.
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
It's fine. I know all about over-looking. People with lives outside of dA tend to do that every now and then. :P Thanks!
Reply
:iconintroverted-ghost:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013   Writer
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is...

There aren't words. Congratulations on a spectacularly well deserved DD.
Reply
:icondark1170:
dark1170 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
i expected a good finish.. still awesome da way u wrote 
Reply
:iconhermionefrost:
HermioneFrost Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so emotional. You broke my heart :tears: Great work! Congrats on the DD! :clap:
Reply
:iconthemadtrumpeter:
TheMadTrumpeter Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is beautiful....so deep.
Reply
:iconxxanannaxx:
XxanannaxX Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
i love this... inspiring
Reply
:iconmadameshadowenn:
madameshadowenn Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hi there! I'm Jasmine, a staff blogger from :iconpoeticalcondition:. Just to let you know I've featured your piece in this journal: fav.me/d6m91qr
It's a round-up of all of our members who have received a DLD or DD over the past few weeks, so please do check it out!
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
THANK YOU!!! :iconblushplz: I certainly will.
Reply
:iconmadameshadowenn:
madameshadowenn Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:D Yay!
Reply
:iconhidddensoul:
HidddenSoul Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just simply amazing...Clap Waaaah! 
Reply
:iconmalco735:
Malco735 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So much emotion! I think people can relate to this in some way and that's what makes it so sad. Breathtaking work, I must say. Congrats on the DD :D
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:icondreamssurroundsus:
DreamsSurroundsUs Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was so emotional ;__; it broke my heart
Reply
:iconidontknowwhoyouknow:
Idontknowwhoyouknow Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so full of emotion! I was crying, like, seriously, because I kind of can relate.
Reply
:iconhelpilostmyeraser:
HelpILostMyEraser Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing. Deep, emotional, brash, and just plain amazing.
I'm not much one for sad life stories, I always try and look on the bright side of things, but every once and a while you've got to acknowledged the sadness in the world and admire it.
You're talented, so keep it up (^^)
Reply
:iconfisheypixels:
fisheypixels Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student General Artist
I'll be honest.  I was skeptical at first.  But the more I read, the more it captivated me.  This is an incredibly written piece.  It brings out so many emotions; joy towards the innocent child; sadness towards the young girl; a feeling of discontentment for the girl; pity for the girl.

And that line, "dead bodies don't cry"   Wow.  I don't even know how to describe the feelings that brings up.  it brings back so many memories from...the past...  and how things have changed so much.

If you are the girl in the story, I am sorry.  No one deserves that.  no one.   Things will improve. 

You just have to ride through the storm.  And don't push the good out for the bad, though it can be hard.
Reply
:icondeath2077:
death2077 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
well this kind of well was you know a thing I mean it was well done but why must you make me feel all the feels I was happy one second ago

when I helped somebody see a different side of rwby fan art and now i am a sad why why must you do this
Reply
:iconsecretagentjonathon:
SecretAgentJonathon Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... that's pretty deep and emotional. This is a great poem, keep up the good work!
Reply
:icontempest-flame:
Tempest-Flame Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This sends the perfect message to everyone who reads it:
You are not alone in pain, and there is always someone who understands. 
Thank you for that. 
Reply
:iconstripyxospikesxo:
StripyXOspikesXO Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
I can't begin to explain the emotions I felt while reading this. You did an amazing job! 
Reply
:iconlostgryphin:
LostGryphin Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Emotional and touching - congrats on the DD - this is very powerful!
Reply
:iconnoisemac:
NoiseMac Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my God! Very Touching, Congrats on DD
Reply
:iconthelastlonewolf:
thelastlonewolf Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm just...its so.....
that was nice. :'')
Reply
:iconssensory:
ssensory Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013   Writer
Congratulations on the amazing DD feature as it is more than deserved. It has been featured here. ssolaris.deviantart.com/journa…
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:iconaemi:
Aemi Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pain is one of the things that lets you know you are alive.
Reply
:iconmarapie:
marapie Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:icontearplz:
Wow
That was really moving..
Congratulations on the DD :D
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Student General Artist
Truly a powerfully written poem... I feel the way the narrator does...
Reply
:iconcallme007:
callme007 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
I don't even feel sad and I'm involuntarily crying because of how powerful that is. 
Reply
:iconcamkitty2:
CamKitty2 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That was amazing. I can't even express how much that made me think. Beautiful job on this.
Reply
:icontaylorswift55443:
TaylorSwift55443 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013

That was beautiful. It made me think everything about life is just... I'm grateful to have it... Because I know I'm alive and-

                                 

                                                                            Dead bodies don't cry.

Reply
:iconfruitbatslyra:
fruitbatslyra Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So deep and moving and powerful....and every single word hit me hard in the chest.
Reply
:iconamiabletogether:
Amiabletogether Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh dear, I think I just broke my mouse for slamming the favorite button 7000 times.
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:iconmsgeeknerd:
MsGeekNerd Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really moving and relatable... Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world.
Reply
:iconskyler-thewolf:
Skyler-TheWolf Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
CogratulationsClap you just won internet Rainbow Cute Cry Plz 
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:iconiamoret:
iAmoret Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconcryforeverplz:

Congrats on the DD! :clap:
Reply
:iconyiaoura-chan:
Yiaoura-Chan Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
asdfghj! it's just amazing! O . O you did a very beautiful work C: sorry but i cant find the right words to describe that awesomness i just read Cx you just reminded me of how short our lives are.. anywayssss must luuuuvv diiiisss you did amazinglyyy : D :heart:
Reply
:iconsoursugar88:
Soursugar88 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
This was so moving! It's hard for me to use actual words to describe this, because I don't think any suitable ones exist yet.
Oh, well, at least I know I'm not dead.
Reply
:iconari-heart-matsuri:
Ari-Heart-Matsuri Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I can only describe this as gorgeous. It's just, well, I don't know. It's just 'this thing' that makes me want to cry so much. And be grateful for it, because it means I'm not dead. 
Reply
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh wow, congratulations on the Daily Deviation, my friend! :heart: :tighthug:
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Submitted on
July 10, 2012
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