Birthday Tacos

Trigger warning: depression/suicide idealization

My parents were going to take me
out to a restaurant that year, 
but I came home not hungry.
I think they thought my sixteenth birthday
might work as a buffer of sorts
for the suicidal idealizations,
but depression is a motherfucker
that knows no holidays.
They took my siblings to Taco Bell 

I woke up around three 
in the morning, singing in sweat,
and all I could think about was my soft 
tacos in the fridge. I put them
in the microwave for thirty seconds,
then another twenty, then another ten,
because Fuck, 
even microwaves can’t work

I ate in bed in the dark, so I wouldn’t wake
my sister. I didn’t think about much of anything
as I lifted the tortilla to my mouth — meditation
taught me that magic trick. Conveniently,
it only seemed to work when I was eating alone 
with the lights off and not when I was, like,
sobbing in the school bathroom, but alas.

I felt the lettuce pool out the sides,
between my fingers and there was a strange
satisfaction in the mess of it. Here were my birthday
tacos, splayed across a plastic plate like guts.
And they were enough.

Sidney Wollmuth is currently attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she is double-majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing competition, Huffington Post, and No Contact Mag, among others. She was selected for the International Writing Program’s 2020 Summer Institute and works as the Editor-in-Chief of Atlantis Creative Magazine ( You can find more of her work on her Instagram, @sidneysgallerywall.

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