Marin Poetry Center

Communicating with my Body

By Artemis Frederick

There are 7.8 billion people on the planet.
Human beings are made of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
You are no different.
I am just chemicals and equal parts desire and desperation.
Emotions are just elements and neurons firing, fighting to keep us alive.
Sadness is the emotion that takes the most time to move on from.
It takes 120 hours to stop being sad.
I don’t know how many hours there are in three years, but it’s more than 120.
When I say that I’m fine, what I mean is, don’t ask me.
An American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds.
I can hold my breath longer than the time between assaults.
It’s impossible for you to speak a language you’ve never heard before.
It’s impossible for nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen to have this much
power over me.
If I could turn back time and change everything, it would still happen.

Second Place: Artemis Frederick
Tamalpais High School

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