To Whom It May Concern by Nadia Nelson


Sorry for the come out of my mouth thing that happened.

I think words is what they call it.

Absurd, I swear I speak English.

At least that’s what I think when I tell myself things in my brain.

Pardon me while I drop off the face of the earth for a minute or 3.

I tongue get tied you see.

Awkwardly enough ‘cause I find you my kind of fellow being.

I press through the gibberish until I can form while sentences, I’ve made up in my mind I want to be with you.

In our future I’ll look back and remember when all I could do was thing words in the trying order.

Sentences of words just started like a brain circuit and I noticed I’m awkward.

Around you.


Tongue Tied

Dear best friend’s cool new boyfriend,

Hi. You’re great and all, and it’s really nice to see my friend smile—she’s crazy about you—it’s beautiful. But can we at least share her? I’ve known her for years and you didn’t know she existed until this summer. You’ve been dating for a month. I would like to borrow her sometimes. Even when it’s just her and me, you’re still all she talks about. And when she’s not talking about you, she’s texting you. Don’t get me wrong—you’re a wonderful guy and good for her. A little too good. A little too smooth. And now I see her once a week if I’m lucky. I guess I’m jealous of you and your perfectness. I know this is new. Maybe it will wear off. If you dare break her heart, I will personally break your face. Treat her well. Love her well. Great. But can I hang out with her sometimes? Enjoy the time she could be spending with me. Why should I try anymore? I can’t compete with a perfect boyfriend. I know she loves me. I’ll be ok… It’s going to be ok. Anyway, thought you should know.


Third wheel

Dear Digestive System,

I cannot apologize for my love of dairy, okay? Some things are worth it. I have no regerts. You’re just very loud and it’s embarrassing. Probably my fault, but if you could turn down the volume a bit, that would be great.


In denial about being lactose intolerant

Dear high school self,

Look at you, rocking that mullet! High school is awkward. I can’t promise life gets less awkward, but I can say that you will get a better fashion sense. It will take a few years, but eventually you’ll get there. In the future, it will be easy to look down on yourself for being different, quirky, loud, etc. Please be kind to yourself and pay attention to your self-talk. I wouldn’t be the same without you. Every day you grow; it’s just hard to see it because you aren’t able to step back yet. For now, enjoy life the best you can and don’t forget to breathe!

Yours (literally),

College self

Dear… what do I even call you?

We need to talk about our relationship. I thought we broke up, but we are still acting like a couple and it’s confusing. Sometimes I don’t mind it. Other times, I feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable being around you. I don’t want to lose you. I need to know where we stand. Neither of us like confrontation. Great. (That was sarcasm.)



To a person I may or may not know:

I read your note on the bathroom wall.

It was long, but I couldn’t look away. Honestly, it scared me.

I don’t know who you are or where your pain comes from.

Four paragraphs later, I want to understand your story.

I want to give you a giant hug and tell you that, yes, your life matters!

This was no ordinary graffiti scribbling.

This was a cry for help.

And I don’t know what to do any more than you do.

But please.

Don’t give up yet.

Look up.

You are surrounded by lonely people. Let’s at least be lonely together, because you’re right:

No one should feel the way you do right now.

Something’s wrong and it’s not your fault.

Thank you for reaching.

You will be found.



Dear Ex,

I miss you and I feel stupid for missing you, but I’ve listened to a lot of break up songs lately, so I guess it’s normal to miss your ex and I should be okay with feeling stupid sometimes or something. Feelings are confusing. Anyway, f-- you and have a great day!

Not yours,


P.S. Jokes on you—now all your exes live in Texas! And you made that joke while we were still dating!

Tirzah Allen