teach me

Insatiable thirst—

Every page I turn,

I crave more and more.

A drug addict strung out,

Jittery and sick for a fix.


A never ending quest

Through the crevices of prints,

A journey,

Of inquiry and discovery

Without end,

An aimless path leading to nowhere.


Tested trial and failure

Shelley, Austen, Dickens, and Wordsworth,

Tennyson, Carlyle, Coleridge and Woolf,

Their thoughts within my reach.

My arms are outstretched,

I’m ready! Give it to me!

Give me your answers!


They do not speak.

Only silence can be heard

From beyond the grave.

All we have left

Is cryptic words, scripted together,

Meshed into prose, laden with hidden meanings,

Words on a yellowing page,

Disintegrating, and breaking.


Those words on the page

have me in a chokehold,

Pressing against my valuable nerves,

There must be something,

These writers can teach me

For life is lost itself.


Biographical Note: Jessie Layton is a sophomore at the College of Charleston who’s studying Creative Writing. Jessie is originally from the DC area and moved down to Charleston, SC and fell in love with the art of writing and storytelling. Jessie writes for her school’s chapter of Her Campus and she’s currently working on getting some of her poetry and short stories published.