During the eighth episode of 13 Reasons Why season one, we learn how Ryan Shaver is connected to Hannah Baker's story. The two become reluctant friends when Hannah joins the local library's poetry club and hears Ryan read one of his poems. The intensity of his prose impresses her so much that she asks him for writing lessons. During one of their meetings, Ryan tells her, "Every poem you write should be like someone reading your things." Hannah then uses that advice to tap into her vulnerability and pours her true self into a poem. She even gains enough courage to read her work aloud in front of the group.
But that's where the trouble begins; Ryan believes the pain in Hannah's poem may prove important to other people struggling with the same issues and insists on publishing it in Lost & Found. When Hannah refuses, Ryan steals the poem from her writing journal and publishes it anonymously. Unfortunately, Jessica recognizes Hannah's handwriting and soon everyone knows the truth. Even worse, the boys of Liberty High misinterpret the message and label the writer as just another skank.
The issue of the poem comes up again as Ryan takes the stand in the Bakers' case against the school. Take a look for yourself below before you watch the episode!
Today I am wearing lacy black underwear
For the sole purpose of knowing I am wearing them.
And underneath that,
I am absolutely naked.
And I've got skin. Miles and miles of skin.
I've got skin to cover all my thoughts
like Saran Wrap that you can see through
to what leftovers are inside from the night before.
And despite what you might think,
My skin is soft, and smooth, and easily scarred.
But that doesn't matter, right?
You don't care about how soft my skin is.
You just want to hear about what my fingers do in the dark.
But what if all they do is crack open windows,
So I can see lightening through the clouds.
What if all they crave is a jungle gym to climb for a taste of fresher air?
What if all they reach for is a notebook or a hand to hold?
But that's not the story you want.
You are licking your lips and baring your teeth.
Just once I would like to be the direction someone else is going.
I don't need to be the water in the well.
I don't need to be the well.
But I'd like to not be the ground anymore.
I'd like to not be the thing people dig their hands in anymore.
Some girls know all the lyrics to each other's songs.
They find harmonies in their laughter.
Their linked elbows echo in tune.
What if I can't hum on key?
What if my melodies are the ones nobody hears?
Some people can recognize a tree,
A front yard, and know they've made it home.
How many circles can I walk in before I give up looking?
How long before I'm lost for good.
It must be possible to swim in the ocean of the one you love without drowning.
It must be possible to swim without becoming water yourself.
But I keep swallowing what I thought was air.
I keep finding stones tied to my feet.