a poem by
RACHEL NIPP | Student + Writer

 This poem is about trying to balance between too much and nothing–both literally, in terms of drinking enough water, and in terms creating art and living life.

Photo by Kira auf der Heide

I DON’T drink enough water
Maybe three glasses a day
Out of the recommended eight
Two cups of coffee though
And usually a Coke
They say caffeine dehydrates you
Or maybe they disproved that
Either way
My stomach hurts when I exercise
And I never have to pee


Some days I’ll see a piece of art
Something simple like a watercolor birthday card
Or a black and white photograph of a dress
I’ll read some clever twisted words in a magazine
And everything I want to be swells inside of me
The momentum of every wish I ever had
Of being an artist
A painter, a writer, a thinker, a dreamer
Pools into passion and pours out of me
My mind a river rushing with creativity
I stay up into the night lusting after my vision
Frantically trying to form and make, design and define
But the next day I sleep in until noon
I’m bloated from midnight pizza and I’m late to work


Standing sinking in the sand gazing up at a blood orange moon
Misty morning runs through new-to-me city streets
Warm gentle rain on a soft summer afternoon
Hard, rugged hikes under cold blue skies
Old friends and easy times
These things make me feel alive
These things make me want life
And then the next moment I’m back
Crying on the bathroom floor in a Wendy’s
Or staring at no new notifications on my phone
Or driving to nowhere because that’s better
Than any place I know

I grow so thirsty that I become dry
I want everything so much that I give it all up
Because that’s easier than drinking in too much
Until I oversaturate, drunken and drowning
Gasping for air because I am losing myself

So I drink my coffee and I drink my Coke
Over caffeinated but at least momentarily hydrated

I work until I am everything
Then I let myself go
The best part is the wild
The thirst, the desire
The survival
Because you know what they say

You can be satisfied when you’re dead.

Enjoy more of Rachel’s work at