I want to eat all of the love in the world

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A brightly colored mural of a woman with flowing blonde hair enjoying an ice cream cone.

Sometimes I long to be little,
To be that ephemeral,
A ball of lightning inside my chest.
Sometimes I long to be small again,
And yet
I cannot bear the thought of being that lovable.
I do not want to be loveable,
I want to be all-consuming.
To expand and heat until even soft fingertips cannot bear to hold me.
I want to hold the entire world inside my stomach,
Choke it down like a handful of pills,
I want someone to look at me and only see something
Too much to love.
I want them to love me anyways.

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May Lafer-Kirtner is a member of the class of 2024 at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. She has been writing all her life, and after graduating, hopes to become a reporter and a novelist. After having a hard time in middle school, she started writing poetry and stories as an outlet for all of her most intense emotions—about friends, death, her chronic illness, and mental health struggles. She started trying to get published after reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, because she hoped to remind other people they weren’t all alone.
Accompanying photo: “Mural” by Danielle Deculus