The Summer I Grew Gills: A Poem

The Summer I Grew Gills: A Poem

"I wasn’t afraid of Jaws. For I had grown my set of gills that summer and began to float."

Covered in the heat blanket of August was the coal black asphalt

Caked by kickball games, Light-Up Sketchers

and the memories of those who dared to study the scrolls of childhood.

I myself was very happy, white Filas and all

As the magic school bus came to sweep up our camp

Built-in Rocket boosters and eyes the size of basketballs

We flocked in, goslings aged seven through nine

Flying Saucers for lunch boxes

And Cookie Monster book bags

Maybe, just maybe my camp counselor would turn into Ms. Frizzle

There’s nothing wrong with Semi-Psychedelic Hipster Science teachers

I decided I wanted to be one three weeks prior anyway

Atlantis was within minutes of my grasp

Gameboy Advance for a bus partner and

Dolphins that floated aimlessly across the bus ceiling

The sharks? They didn’t bite

They swiveled, torpedos in the air

Haunting, mesmerizing

I wasn’t afraid of Jaws

For I had grown my set of gills that summer

And began to float

When we arrived in Atlantis

Golden Cobblestone walkways cut through grass like razor blades

Barbershop clean and ready to be abusively pummeled by the feet of little second graders.

And holy hell, that was the biggest mother******* whale I've ever seen.

As we got inside, a dorsal fin sprouted out of my back.

And god damn it it hurt but if that meant I could swim with my friends, why not

As I got to the lunch table, I hit the folks with the super deluxe lunchables pack,

Filled with gold dabloons from Davey Jones Locker

Grape Kool Aid and a toy

Yes a toy, the good ones don't exist anymore

It was a limited edition Nikola Tesla figure riding a Dolorean,

and when turned on, he drifts the shape of pi....

Im sorry. donuts, around the tables in The Krusty Krab.

So when you ever ask, Did you really go to Atlantis? It doesn't exist?

Honestly, I go there every day.

In my books, in my dreams,

every time I want to throw my calculus book at the library window.

Every time I see my mother’s face

Every time I hear my boss on the phone

Everytime….. I go there.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Having a Plan

It's OK if things don't work out as planned.


Growing up is a lot of work. As we age, there comes a certain pressure to know exactly what you intend to do with your life. This is something that society and often times the people we love most demand of us. Our culture is so busy there is no time to waste. "You need to be driven, have a goal," is the scream of the world. This ideology has shaped every ounce of who we are. We panic when we don't know. We're supposed to have an answer.

We plan and we plan and we plan, and we make ourselves miserable in the process. We become so caught up in the logistics that we look all around us: left, right, forwards, and backward. We search all over to no prevail, and we forget to look up.

Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB):

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.

This is something I've been learning in my time at college. And I'm a planner. I like a good plan. When things don't go according to plan, I tend to resort to panic.

All this to say, plans aren't a bad thing, but it's important to recognize it's OK if our plan doesn't work out exactly.

It's also OK not to know it all right now. There are things in life that will come to pass before we know it. So don't rush.

God's timing is more than perfect. Even when we don't understand.

God's plan is never messed up, so we should take comfort in that.

Rest in this truth today. Surrender your plans to the Lord, and take a breath.

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