Steam (Content Warning)


This work depicts self-harm. This work was not written with intent to condone self-harm. If you feel like harming yourself, please call the suicide national hotline at:


or visit


I tore into my flesh
To release the steam
The smoke
The pressure

Ash oozed out the wound
Pooled at its threshold

My aim was to inflict a little death
In place of the big one
My aim was to stain my garments
Instead of the soaking

Little lies were spoken
-Something about the beauty in pain
Hidden under sleeves were my true feelings
Lines desperate to find their way

And God said,
“The blood of your brother, Abel, cries out to me
And your blood cries out the same
She told me that you broke your promise to yourself
Again and again
She boils with vengeance
For the boy she guarded and raised”

I tore into my flesh
To release the steam
The smoke
The pressure

An ode to blood,
To convince her I remember

From the Author

This poem snuck up on me. The event surrounding this work was a long time ago, and it wasn’t often repeated- hasn’t been repeated for a long, long time. The desires I had then do not plague me as much these days- but nonetheless, my brain shot me out of bed in order to record those feelings.

I’ve lived my life under quite a bit of pressure- some of it imposed- but most of it was of my own doing. There was pressure to be better, pressure to fit the norm, pressure to do something with a fire and passion I could not quantify, much less satiate.

It got to me.

It still does. There’s so much the world could be- but isn’t. There’s so much I could be- but aren’t. So much I want to change- but feel powerless to do so. My life is full of depression, self-deception, and repression.

But there’s always this small part of me that knows that I can’t end up as anything but myself. There’s always this little voice that says “You will be able to put all things in their place at the end of the age.” Cutting was something I did to resolve that which I wasn’t yet mature enough to reconcile. If you read this poem and find that you’re in it- Know from someone that’s been there: The night is long, but it doesn’t last forever.

One day, you’ll figure out what to do with all this pressure-this steam. You will find a way, and then the steam will empower you.

Published by The Poetry of Ants

I've been writing poetry since I was little. These poems have always been my means of resolving the world as it is against the world as it should be. Writing has been my great catharsis. I hope that you and I may be able to share in that.

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