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The worst poison

is disguised as water.

They tell you it’s safe,

you need it to survive.

It seems safe.

You want to stay alive

so you drink it,

again and again,

no matter how much 

it burns your throat

every time you try to swallow,

no matter how much

everyone tries to warn you.

Their voices are far away.

They cannot stop you,

because no matter how much

you know deep down

that you are killing yourself,

you still desperately hope

what’s in your hands will truly be water,

not a poison that has already

entered your bloodstream

after the very first sip,

taking over your mind,

rewiring it so you can’t

live without their water,

when simultaneously

you can’t live with it.


You are not alone.

You are not sinking.

Shake the liquid from your lungs,

drain it from your blood, and

take back your mind.

It is yours to control,

not anyone else’s.

They have no right.

Do not let yourself drown.

The next time they try to convince you

you need their water

    to manipulate you

into drinking it,

tell them no


    spit it out.

You do not need their poison.

You’ve suffered for too long.

You see that now.

The worst poison

looks like water

and toxic relationships

    hide behind “happiness”.


Allyson is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at SUNY Oswego, and is a double major in English and Broadcasting with a minor in Spanish. She is the CC of her college's chapter of Her Campus, as well as the Secretary of the Women's Club Ice Hockey team. She hopes to one day become an author of fiction novels and collections of poetry. When she is not writing or on the ice she enjoys spending her time reading, hiking, and watching anime.
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