Have you ever driven your car—to the middle of nowhere, just

to see how lonely you could feel with your knuckles white

against the steering wheel? You don’t even think about it, you

only worry about how fast you’re going, and that even though

you’re going 80, you still can’t help but feel that

the world is



than it



It’s okay, you know, to feel like your lungs can’t find

the air you desire, or if your eyes sting back with hate, or

sometimes, as often as we wish, with love. It’s completely

fine to want to scream until you can’t remember what silence is.


It’s deafening.

Maybe you’ve never known the feeling of someone else

piecing out your every being, or telling your secrets until

you’re positive there’s nothing left to hide. Maybe you’ve

never heard another person cry like a poisonous drain, like

seeing someone’s heart break right in front of you.


About an hour and a half away from here, so far from here, I

fell in love with the toxic scent of being alive. An hour and

thirty fucking minutes from here, I fell in love with the

roughness of clenched fists, and the wind blowing against

my face like I never even stood a chance, like the world

wasn’t supposed to be spinning faster or slower, like

the world wasn’t even supposed to be spinning

at all.


By Caitlin Plathe

My name is Caitlin Plathe and I am a 17-year-old high school student at MOC-Floyd Valley High School in a small town in Iowa. I’ve been an avid reader and writer since I was a little kid, and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. Recently, this summer, I was accepted and went to a two-week writing and cultural exchange program at the University of Iowa, which to be quite honest, changed my life. I’m a better writer, and person, because of it. 

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