To the girl in highschool
who said my dark skin and stick legs
would never amount to anything –
thank you for the bullying.
It taught me beauty and confidence.
To the parent
who never failed to let me know
they made a huge mistake –
thank you for my depression.
It drew me to the arts.
To the boy I loved so great
and broke my heart –
thank you for the heartbreak.
It gave me my voice, the ink for my inspiration.
To the ex best friends who traded friendship for success
and stabbed me in the back with stilettos;
to the boys who had no intention in learning my name;
to the teachers who never looked twice at me
for lack of social popularity;
to the in crowd and queenbees who made me think
I was an outcast that needed your approval –
Thank you for the cold shoulder,
for making me feel like I was nothing.
It pushed me to prove myself,
It drove me to make sure I’d never be less.
For after all has been said and done,
you will all be dead and forgotten.
And my bones, too, will decay
with the worms underneath the ground.
But my words, they will live on.
There are galaxies bursting inside me,
inside this empty chest.
And they are all screaming –
I exist. I exist. I EXIST.
Sade Andria Zabala is a twenty-four year old Filipina surfer sometimes living in Denmark. She is the author of poetry books War Songs and Coffee and Cigarettes. Her work has appeared on places such as Literary Orphans, The Thought Catalog, The Rising Phoenix Review, Hooligan Magazine, Germ Magazine, and more. In her spare time she likes to eat words and drink sunlight.