by Rae Coop

Combine water and sugar in a bottle, and place a string inside.
Crystals will begin to consume the string,
a physical reaction to something sweet.
A catalyst in a bottle, trapped like a shrunken ship
being consumed by shards of delectable glass.

Being drawn to by that which needs a stable home.
Carrying the collective burdens in my claustrophobic cage,
I am completely surrounded.

Sugar sticks to my teeth as I take refuge in the quiet.
It sticks to my tongue, to my throat as I try to remember
why am I alone?

Did I not ask for help?
Did I not scream with thin red lines across my arms?
Was I not loud enough?

The sugar sticks to my teeth as I hold back the tears.
Crying and chocolate are too cliche, and
someone is asking for me.
Someone wants me, always
needs my attention, affection.

A string hangs in a bottle.
Does it long for escape,
or enjoy being needed?
Why can’t a string long for both?

Rae Coop is a native Pacific Northwestern. She is a new writer and mother of two. She discovered her passion for the writing in the seventh grade, when her teacher was stunned by her poem about the moon and the sun being lovers. Since then, she has dedicated much of her time to writing prose, poetry and short stories. This is her first publication.