Living to Die & Dying to Live

I’ve seen death in the form of floating beta fish,

a crushed red ant under my thumb,

roadkill raccoons and electrocuted squirrels,

a house cat lying on the sidewalk, cause of death: undetermined,

a white sheet covering a somebody, now a nobody

while giving my boyfriend a tour of New York City

saying it’s not dangerous here, I swear.


I’ve seen superheroes in the form of people

who say “I just can’t get out of bed anymore”

as they walk into my cafe, sit down, and order a latte

while I respond “Morning sir, you did it.”

Moms about to break

about to go back on all their beliefs that no one should

hit a child because right now, the only option they can see

is to hit a child

but they don’t crack, their superpowers don’t let them.


I’ve seen life that looks like death

just hit it 35 times with an anvil

before driving razor blades up it’s arms

convincing itself that pain is the only thing it can feel

and reminding him that It is stronger

even though It is not.

Satan at his best again.


I’ve seen death bring life to those who just realized that

life is short as they watch the Boston Marathon explosion on repeat

saying “I was going to be there, but I didn’t qualify.”

Life sucking the death out of those on the verge of losing it all

because they know what the bright light looks like

they’re just not ready to walk towards it.


I’ve seen death everywhere because I am alive

and I’ve seen life twice as much because I am seeing it for you, too.

You can keep choosing your dark apartment over a walk in the park and

a conversation with your pillow instead of face to face with me,

because I’ve learned that life doesn’t always rhyme and a lot of times

it hurts so fucking much

but we got this, because together, we can do anything.

And if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that

you don’t have to save the world to be a hero,

you just have to save yourself.

–Annarose Bottos

Annarose is a graduate of The City College of New York, where she received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She has traveled the world in search of all things positive, writing stories as she goes. Annarose currently resides in Putnam Valley, NY, with her husband and fascinatingly curious one year old. She thinks new friends are great and inspiring, so follow her on Twitter or check out her website

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