Counting on the Porch by Nikita Jayaprakash One. Two. Three. Four. Five. My mind wants me, dead or alive. She’s cursed with a loud mind. The thoughts pounding, pulsing like they had a heartbeat of their own, Coming faster than her hands can write, never creative enough to make known, Going faster than her lips can say, never a commitment to which she can be sworn. She settles down on the porch. Her bare feet pushing into the wooden floor, to know she’s grounded, She looks up to the same sky as the night before, that never fails to leave her astounded, And because there are more stars than her thoughts, she doesn’t feel so surrounded. So she counts. Her breath hovers in the night air, sounding just above a whisper, The clouds in her mind start to move in, threatening to eclipse her, So she counts, again and again, before her own insanity grips her. She never brings a blanket. The warmth gives an unwanted comfort, that can’t provide a distraction, The cold gives her something to hold on to, to give her strides some traction, Her shivers relieve her mind of some of its tension in this cold dissatisfaction. She’ll pour out her thoughts. To the night sky that bears its weight, so she doesn’t have to, To the night sky that longs to forget, just like she wants to do, To the night sky that holds her to reality, in an undeniable truth. And so she counts. In order for her thoughts to be freed, and her mind to be restrained, She waits for the night sky, for some semblance of calm to be feigned, She’s shivering but she’s beginning to feel safe, so she can’t complain. She finds solace in her shortcoming. Knowing that she focuses on something that she’ll never fathom, Relishing in an idea bigger than any of her own, to which she can succumb, Before her thoughts plan her own mutiny and trap her in her mind’s asylum. One. Two. Three. Please let me be.
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Nikita Jayaprakash is a high school senior, and current Teen Poet Laureate of Pleasanton, California, who writes to share the excessive thoughts in her head. She has been writing since she was seven, and she loves every aspect of literature: she reads in her spare time, writes at the most inopportune moments and has a penchant for writing her favorite lines in calligraphy.