Convince Us to Stay: a Poem

Maya Williams
Published in
2 min readSep 10, 2018


Content Warning: suicide ideation and swearing

What most people don’t understand about

suicide ideation

is how hella convinced we have to be

to stay on this Earth.

Some days,


want to stay.

It’s not enough to tell us that

we’ll burden someone

if we leave,

as often as we think how

we’ll burden someone

if we stay.

Ideation is the double-edged sword

we never asked for.

Then again,

we never

asked to be alive


Ideation is the pendulum that swings

from one alternate universe

of darkness

to another.

Do better at convincing us

of an alternate universe

of light

that exists out there.

With less clichés this time.

With more clichés we can be proud of.

With more natural prayers.

With less prayers at all.

Do better at convincing us

of a better future ahead

without the pressure of

having to fucking think

of one.

Do better at convincing us

of possibilities

without providing us

fucking barriers

in the same breath.

Hear us.

Commend us for our survival

without us having to experience

the threat of a disappearance

in the first place.

Need us.

No, I mean

REALLY need us.

Not because it’ll make


feel better.

Because it’ll make

all of us

feel better.

No, I mean

REALLY feel better.

Like freedom of life

without giving compensation for saving it

after failed attempts.

Like summer rains being the

occasional cleanse we desire

with its liveliness within the gray.

Like being so fucking present

being a blessed gift in of itself;

only you didn’t wrap or re-wrap it for us.

Mental illness


like a motherfucker

Convince us enough to believe

that we

can wrap and re-wrap it ourselves.

If you or someone you know is struggling or just wants to talk, there are resources for you.

About the author: Maya Williams is a poet currently residing in Portland, Maine. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and a Bachelors in English from East Carolina University. She has a Masters in Social Work with a certificate in Applied Arts and Social Justice. She has her poems published in spaces such as glitterMOB, Soft Cartel, The Occulum Journal (coming in November), Underground Writers Association, INTER, The Tempest, and AltFem. She has articles published in spaces such as The Tempest, Black Girl Nerds, and Multiracial Media. You’re more than welcome to follow her @emmdubb16 on Twitter and Instagram. Check out her website here.

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Maya Williams

Articles can be found at The Tempest and Mulitiracial Media; Poems can be found at glitterMOB, Soft Cartel, INTER, and The Tempest