“and yes there is no happy ending,” “and that’s just life” and ‘“it’s not a big deal”’

Poetry by Dakotah Jennifer

“and yes there is no happy ending,” “and that’s just life” and ‘“it’s not a big deal”’

and yes there is no happy ending

for some

there is always

the split.

the sea parting like a zipper,

unveiling this vulnerable heart.

it might've started at the first sign of trouble but also might've never started.

instead it just

was?

17 years and there it was

like

maybe it was never born just

there

appearing in a puff of smoke.

for others

it is a progression

a slow unraveling?

a show they never paid to watch

but still had to witness.

a murder of the childhood

in second degree.

yet

still,

for me?

it is a broken heart,

a lack of work or working:

a hefty load to bear.

and that’s just life

Maybe you're not the protagonist

Or the antagonist.

Maybe you are the other girl

Or the plot device

Or the passerby.

Maybe you are the girl who makes him realize he loves her

Or the girl who puts her pride aside and tells him to run through the airport to find her

Or the girl who struggles to keep him even though he and she are meant to be.

Maybe you are sitting at the next table

While a love story unfolds next to you.

Drinking your coffee.

Maybe everyone else is living in a movie

And you are an extra.

Maybe you’re the best friend who sacrifices everything so she can get her happily ever after

And you smile

And wave

And maybe go off to college with her or stand next to her at the altar.

But you are never complete

You are never that one.

Maybe you get a happy ending but

Chances are

You don’t.

“it’s not a big deal”

so what if?

what if

you are the end of the world?

what if

it doesn't matter how many lives you see pass by every day.

what if

the problem

is that you are only thinking of

how everyone else

has more points than you

in the

cruel

game.

that maybe,

if you stopped counting, you wouldn't have so many.

like

if you let yourself cry

just for you,

maybe you'd remember that you are worth something more than a

box.

what if the trick is:

you are sad. i know you're sad. you can be sad.

you are allowed.

you are human.

and certainly that should be enough.

certainly, that should be enough.

About the Author

Dakotah Jennifer

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Dakotah Jennifer is a twenty-year-old Black writer currently attending Washington University in St. Louis. She started writing poetry at eight and has loved it ever since. Jennifer has been published in Across the Margin, HerStry, Popsugar, The Pinch Journal, Voyage YA, Protean Mag, Apartment Poetry, Paintbucket.page, the Grief Diaries, The Confessionalist Zine, Oral Rinse Zine, and Ripple Zine. She was accepted into the Juniper Writing Workshop at Amherst and the Writing Workshops Paris with Carve Magazine for the 2021 year. She won Washington University's Harriet Schwenk Kluver award for the 2018-2019 year and The Dramatics of St. Louis Prize for the 2020- 2021 year. She has also published two chapbooks, Fog (Bloof Books) and Safe Passage (Radical Paper Press).