Selfish By Samantha Brynn

When the monsters called for me it was not by my name
but that does not matter to monsters like these.

We like you best when you’re shaking, they said. We
like you best when you feel like your head is on fire.

They said: We don’t want to know because we already
know. Don’t ask how just shut the fuck up and listen.

You can’t fight monsters like these. They crave your
burning blood they eat your angry your hateful your selfish.

They consume every part of you that you have tried
to learn to love and they leave you with the rest.

Please stop, I said. Please won’t you stop? But monsters
like these don’t understand question marks or the word please.

Monsters like these tell you to sign your name on the
dotted line and swallow it. They spit out your name

so it is something ugly now, so it is unrecognizable.
So if you say: I know I am made of precious stuff,

they will say: Nothing is precious you are a pinpoint
in history and even less on your better days.

When the monsters came to take me away it was not by my hand
but by my neck and when I looked into their eyes I saw myself.

Source: Selfish By Samantha Brynn


Self Portrait in Three Parts By Samantha Brynn

Combustion as a function of touch –
you say baby I need you
and I tilt my chin in the air
like no, I am not a matchstick girl
but I am, baby, I am.

Mama always said I was much too fragile,
but these limbs make great kindling.

Okay, mama, I said. Okay, I’ll be careful.

She said be careful
but you said please real nice
and I said okay, touch me here

and then the house went up in flames.

Baby girl never knew how to talk about herself
like she was split into halves.

(How do you split your soul praying
for two versions of the same god?)

Biracial like she could
set herself aside in pieces;
like she could
separate her body and section it off.

(This one light; this one dark.
The almond eyes; the full lips.)

Tell her she can only be a fraction
and let her show you the way she is more
than just the sum of any number of parts.

My birth was like this:
first love; then breath.

(Thought did not occur to me
until the second time I broke my own heart.)

Source: Self Portrait in Three Parts By Samantha Brynn

The Four Ways My Depression Tries to Love You By Samantha Brynn

First – this is not your fault.
There are these things inside of me that
have been clawing their way out of my heart
since I learned sadness.

And my sadness is high energy, high voltage,
Hi, love, I’ve saved a seat for you.

If you’d like to join me at the table I will welcome you
with open arms, but understand
that it hurts me either way.

Like this: either you sit to my left and I watch
my monsters eat you alive,
(first you, then me)

or you leave now, and I don’t even
get to hold your hand as I drown.

There are good days / when I want to disappear.
There are bad days / when I want to die.

When you ask me to live for you,
I say fuck you

But what I mean is
this is not that simple.

Thank you for dragging me by my ankles
back to the good days;

Thank you for crawling with me through the
dirt and the mud;

Thank you for sitting by my grave of a body
and never letting me bury myself alive.

Source: The Four Ways My Depression Tries to Love You By Samantha Brynn


You asked me to make you something so I did the best I could – here I am, teeth bared, hands cracked and dry and open for you. Behind me is this thing I created: these skyscrapers with leaves; the reservoir that reads your mind. You said You made that? and I said Yes and you said I want to become part of it so I did that for you too and when the roots took hold of your body I knew I had had this dream before and it always ended the same way: underground. Drowning in the dirt of it all. Me, alone at the end, in the middle of a forest I called a city so I could pretend I built it with my two hands. This is no one’s fault but my own. Sorry I couldn’t be soft for you.