Josie Renner

this wasn’t how i started 

i only type in times new roman  
because i think i like to sound profound and the aesthetic of the font 
will somehow add intellectuality 

but really i think it’s just  
conformity made into a habit 
and really i think it’s just 
my fear of never being good  
enough never being 

and really i have blood on my lip right now while i type and blood on  
my index finger and pink on  
my laptop keys because 
i’ve pulled the skin off my bottom lip yet again for maybe the third time today and it’s
only 10 am 

and i like to pretend that it’s a  
nervous habit but really now  
it’s just a habit that i don’t have 
the will to stop 

and i should stop because 
broken sorry 
chapped sorry 
split sorry 
bleeding sorry 
lips do not make good impressions 

and the apologies that always fall from  my stuttering tongue are 
perpetually written on my torn lips because somewhere 
in the cloudy parts of my head  
i think if i pull away enough layers of  skin i might find the root of  
perfection cowering between my bones

About the Author: Josie Renner is an 18-year-old from Warm Springs, Georgia. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of her school’s online newspaper, The Renaissance, and has also has a nationally published piece in the America Library of Poetry’s collection, Together. She plans to pursue a journalism degree upon entering college in the fall and hopes to continue influencing the world through the power of literature and writing.