July 6, 2022

Student Poetry by Anai Gonzalez

Student Poetry by Anai Gonzalez
my hoodie reeks of depression 

it has food stains and maybe tear stains too 
my scalp flakes from excessive stress 
regardless of how often i shower 
my hair isn’t even as beautiful as it used to be 
it doesn’t shine anymore and i’m losing handfuls of it 
and of course, my mother is right beside me to remind me of all this 
my smile is shadowed by my saddened eyes 
needless to say, it’s faker than ever these days 
my body isn’t anywhere as fit as it was just months ago 
i’m losing all my muscle fat, i don’t love my body anymore 
my skin consists of red dots spread across my cheeks 
exposing my imperfections, embarrassing me to tears 
my mind is way too troubled to develop concrete thoughts 
and translate them into decent words for a decent essay 
i’m so fucking useless, can’t even keep up a conversation 
that active and passionate writer’s voice i once possessed 
is no longer within me 
where did she go? 
and why has she left me with nothing but this overwhelming sadness? 
i can’t carry all this burden by myself 
i need the good parts of me back 
so we can carry all this burden together 
and throw it off a cliff 
before i jump off a cliff. 

i don’t want anyone’s fake love nor pity disguised in comfort 
i only want my own genuine love 
because i miss the way i would take care of myself 
i’m no longer accepting anyone else’s advice 
dismissing it completely, even if at my own expense 
i should start drinking 3 liters of water daily again 
i should start praying every night again 
i should start not saying shit to nobody again 
but this new lifestyle i’ve adopted won’t even allow me any time to 
take frequent pee breaks, sleep at night, have alone time, be a person in the world 
all these new expectations, all these new faces, 
all these entirely new and different layers of pressure 
no wonder the old, good parts of me escaped at the first sign of trouble 
i wouldn’t want to deal with any of this either.


burning my tongue 

do not speak more than necessary 
in fact, do not speak at all 
instead, sink into the abyss of your thoughts alone 
your words have become too powerful 
for the fragile ego of the outside world to bear 
your words will easily offend the hypocrite and the guilty 
as you expose their corrupted nature 
sip your hot tea and remain silent 
for the world is not willing to be shaken 
by the heavy substance of your words just yet. 
hold on to that thought, wait for your turn 
after all is said and done 
after everyone else has received all the credit 
after the essence of your message is stolen from you 
leaving you with the rug pulled out from under you 
unbalanced, no longer confident in your stance 
bow your head, drink your tea, burn your tongue. 
keep your mouth shut, and your words unspoken. 
do not release what the universe is not ready for. 


to the world, i’m cold 

few to none are deserving of my warmth 
a tenderness found only within me 
a mesmerizing interaction consisting of genuine mutual energy, 
exchange of intellect, endless laughs, pondering thoughts, 
memories made that will have you reminiscing in your next life 
the consolation prize for those who don’t get to experience the pleasure of me 
get my gift of nonchalance instead, which is gracious still 
because to the world i’m unreachable, inaccessible 
like a shooting star who is trillions of miles up in the galaxies 
like a water droplet before dissolving into an immense body of water 
like a speck of sand at the beach revealing its components only under a microscope 
like a meaningful word that escapes your mind just as you are about to use it in speech 
like a peculiar rose that stands out in a whole field of them 
distant, breathtaking, desirable, surreal. 


you know how sadness comes in waves? 

well i woke up and i was drowning in my bed 
is it the reality i’m living in or the thoughts up in my head 
that got me going through my day just wanting to be dead 
i fear i lost sight of my purpose in life 
i need some flight so pass that light 
is this how i escape now? is this how i survive? 
my mom stays out too late now and i can’t look at her the same 
there’s more liquor in the house now 
and i can’t look at her the same she doesn’t know what she’s became 
i’m not a saint neither ‘cause i blow trees 
but ma, please have some dignity 
“love” got you blinded, lost all common sense 
i’m your daughter and even the way you talk to me is tense 
now you look at me like i’m a stranger that got you mad 
so i keep to myself, never revealing why i’m sad 
should i waste my breath and reiterate how i feel 
or is the fate of our relationship already sealed? 
no one loves me like they used to, if at all 
so i stay high to keep my eyes from shedding waterfalls. 


r + j 

let us part together, my dearest love 
so we can carry our love with us on the other side. 

i will only let you go if i go with you 
and i will only go if you come with me. 

my heart doesn’t have to beat to be yours 
let our souls meet again on the other side. 

in life and in death, i love you infinitely. 


i'd rather rest in peace 

than live in pieces
holding on to temporary moments of happiness 
i wake up everyday looking forward to the end of it 
i think about life looking forward to the end of it 
both don’t come soon enough. 
i’m a slave to time and how it drags me along with it 
forcing me to live heavily medicated in this misery  
where the walls are caving in on me 
and there are no windows or doors 
that even allow me to hope for an outside 
or long for freedom 
i think the only way out is being offered to me constantly 
more like temptation being dangled on my face 
and the fateful day will come soon enough 
that i take the opportunity to leave once and for all 
because what else is there to do in this life 
when i’m living in bondage? 
and yet, a life like this is no life at all 
it’s a breathing death that urges you to pretend it’s life 
what’s heavier: the facade or the reality? 
keeping up appearances or facing the harshness of it all? 
i know heaven will feel lighter 
than the burden of living in this hell 
i’m only a breath away from death 
and death awaits, calling me like a long-lost lover 
well then, reunite me with my only soulmate 
let my lips kiss death 
and use my last breath to say “i love you” 
we miss each other and life is keeping us apart 
maybe the only love that lasts forever 
is when i join death and cease to exist 
i’m more than willing to find out 
so let me meet my lover 
let me die with our love story as all epic loves do 
bury me with my love 
then and only then, 
will i know both peace and love. 



i wonder why God has brought me here 
why would God let my mother birth me 
a girl in love with a girl, and a chemical imbalance in her brain 
i saw myself as a mistake for most of my life 
i see a man and woman together now and 
feel a deep, unexplainable sorrow 
forgive me, my love, for the questions i am about to make 
but i can’t help but plead 
why can’t i be “normal” like them? 
why do i feel the need to be like them? 
still, i am not at all confused when i look at you 
i am not at all conflicted when i hear your sweet voice 
i am not at all remorseful when i kiss you 
it’s only when i’m left alone that the voices take over 
the entire world is against us and i’m afraid 
they are against a love so pure & healthy 
how could a love that is this good-hearted and heavenly 
possibly be bad? 
how could loving an angel possibly be bad? 
i pray this shame goes away 
i pray our love is stronger than their hate 
but nevertheless, the hate of billions is pretty heavy 
but i’m always willing to fight beside you and for you 
it’s not my heart that’s confused 
it’s my mind that the world intends to control 
my family will never know the real me 
and that crushes my soul 
i used to wish i was different than i am so much that 
i pretended to be different than i am for years and years 
i was so good that i nearly convinced myself too 
but then i kissed her and never wanted to be myself more 
a love of this magnitude could never be kept under wraps 
i see my future in her beautiful brown eyes 
her heart beats at the same pace as mine 
such an intense feeling to be endlessly in love with her 
and painfully ashamed of myself at the same time 
i want to feel proud with every fiber in my body 
my only love sprung from their biggest hate 
birds born in a cage think flying is an illness 
our love will outgrow all complications 
i promise you. 


i feared for my mother’s life each night 

before going to sleep 
only that i would not even be able to sleep 
or be able to dream of better circumstances 
each night, my mother’s secret would be unleashed through his screams 
from the next room, his cursing & growling kept me up every night 
and each time i froze, unable to utter a single whisper to save her 
from that hellish home he built for her, only to drown her in it 
hours would go by as i tried to focus on the clock’s ticking 
as it went on through the late winter night 
in the dark, my dreams collected dust as i listened 
to the shrieks & pleas of my dear mother 
with only the snowflakes stuck to the window to comfort me. 



Student Poetry

Born and raised in Ecuador, Anai Gonzalez is a 21-year-old senior at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. Being a first-generation immigrant and college student, she carries out her life’s purpose through every interaction she has by always spreading positivity and expressing the essence of her soul through her poetic work. She devotes her time to curating fashion and visual media with her friends, community service throughout the nation, and writing songs. She is currently working to publish two poetry books, the first of the series being daydreams + nightmares.

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