When Was It

Was it when we first met

that my anxiety became stronger

or was it that day in class

when that teacher called on me to read

or maybe it was that time

that someone complimented me

and I automatically questioned, sarcasm?


When was it that my dyslexia got worse

where I couldn’t even read the letters on the keyboard

or remember how the alphabet started to tell the truth.

or maybe it was that time

that I couldn’t understand the words

being spoken from my ally’s faint mouth

or when I couldn’t spell my own name.


Was it because of that certain person

that I stopped dragging a blade across my skin

or was it when they talked to me with a smile

for longer than 2 minutes

or maybe it was that time

that they spoke “I love you”

and I swear I could melt right there.


Was it then that I became so distant

because I didn’t want her to see the way I saw myself.

or was it when my parents abandoned me

a few years back and became so resistant

or maybe it was that time

my ‘best friend’ turned her back on me

and let me down.


I keep asking questions

when my previous ones

don’t even have answers.

and maybe I’m just looking for some reasons


I start to wonder if maybe it was that day in the middle of the summer,

when I found myself at 9:36 (to be exact)

at the local elementary school

evaluating my being against the gazing light of the full moon.

or maybe it was that time

in that dreaded biology class

when we started talking about evolution.

but who even has the space to care anymore, right?!?


Was it how we started out as strangers

that gave me the confidence

that someone might love me

or maybe it was the way

I now imagine the day

we wake up next to each other.

maybe that gave me the confidence.

or maybe it was the time

I remembered how the alphabet started.

or the time I read in class without stuttering

or the time I expanded to other people

or maybe the time

that I spoke “I love you too”


And I realized that

I ask too many questions

where the answers

are unknown

and the mystery leads to my overthinking.

where I twist the stories around

where I end things before they develop

and cut myself from becoming something.


Was it then or now?

or maybe

sometimes looking for answers

only leads to more questions

and sometimes you’re better off not knowing.

Julia Veloso