no one really

knew what he meant but we

nodded we

bowed in our heads seeds

of broken in our




all the emails we got these days were automatic we tried replying just hoping for love anyway the emails ricocheted like bullets into our faces.




not so beautiful up close i’m sorry.



i couldn’t be

careful enough couldn’t

wrangle the world together

well enough everything

flew out from me everything

left me





flew out of shopping

carts children

tipped over backpacks

exploded like dying stars the

things we’d spent $100

for turned out to be

useless the charge cables were

doused in water the ravens all

ceased to caw the power lines

went out.



we wrote it just to be long.



day never ended.



we lost control of ourselves.



we skidded.



we were wrong we believe each other

anyhow screamed at the authority figures we were

grown-up the moment we wanted to be children.



pain popped up

like pinpricks from the cities

the whole globe

seemed to be bleeding

when i looked at it




i didn’t know how to fix it.



i didn’t know where it was coming from.



i screamed so loud when i was alone.



time was still space was





started at the bottom of the

windshield and

snaked up rapidly with a

sound like a last breath.



my stomach emptied out.



i was alone.



it was spreading i screamed that didn’t stop it.



nothing really gave me control.



they advised me

on a blog about writing

to find a rich man and make him

fall in love with me they patted me

on the head and told me to

brand myself like a cattle be




shit this is gonna cost a lot of money.



they advised me

that sometimes

you can’t have everything can’t

even have half of the

dreams you envisioned

would sit on an apple tree

just waiting to grow

and green by the time we

started to want them they

were rotten we tossed them

away we looked at the pink-streaked

ice-cold sunsetting sky we

cried like we were

shattered vases no longer capable of holding

flowers we became knives.




went in the recycling garbage

went in the recycling no one

cared or noticed




christmas lights shattered. the inflatable santa claus shattered. the rules you taught me i believed more than anything shattered. the earth quaked. the highway rippled like a soundwave the earth was blown up into fire. the computer screen shattered. the google server holding everything i’ve felt since september shattered. the things you told me just so i wouldn’t feel like the world was breaking apart every second passing shattered my hopes of a life i wanted to be living.



i felt queasy.



i was scared i wouldn’t love you anyway.



the friendship i thought i could feel building up in my throat shattered

under words you didn’t even say.



bitterness was like a bomb

between us.



the fire wouldn’t light no matter what i did to it.



no eruption is coming sit in silence he’s not coming.



we learned

how to swear in public like

anger was no longer

something we could





parents were stories

we never ended left sitting there

on notebooks hanging midsentence.



after i was dead you

read through the notebooks

scattered around my bed thinking it

would help you know me but it

never really did.



you forgot my name.



i cried in the car the whole way home i kicked and screamed

i broke a little broke a little i didn’t want to struggle through the next

attempt to relearn how to breathe.



it’s hard to believe

that immortals

can still be happy aren’t just

bogged-in swamped-down

by grief.



maybe we die at the moments when we can’t handle to be broken more than we already are.






the things you said turned out to lie.



there’s a bank account in

switzerland no one else

can reach but when he died he didn’t

give the numbers so we pick through his

ashes looking for a genie in a bottle to grant even one of

our fucking wishes.



i stood there.


my hands shaking.


my clothes



the rain




sky-blackening clouds

that didn’t even part for one little

shaft of sunlight.



it didn’t matter

that there could be a future

because nothing would feel

this way




i’m sorry i stepped

on the screen of your calculator

when we were supposed


only be pretending.



the phone lines didn’t work any more than our promises.



i couldn’t see through the tears in my eyes the streetlights

shut off and there was a lump of plutonium in my throat nothing

came out when i tried to sing but laughter that meant nothing

laughter that slipped like an


wind through my lungs.



everyone went past me this wasn’t a movie my throat was scratched eventually you get tired of waiting so

you write the ending just so

you know what you’re reading.



i wanted

the dreams in my head to swallow me up.



they didn’t.



i built this for the money and that probably will doom me.



you whispered that you would catch me if i fell but what does it matter if our arms lacing into a safety net below each other are spindle-thin famine-starved weak and collapsing?



i was breathing.



i thought of the people who didn’t have choices.



my stomach churned.



i didn’t understand myself.



i thought of the endless torrent a

waterfall in my throat i thought of

eight-minute songs and stuccoed walls.



i thought of asbestos-filled abandoned houses.



i thought of the life i’d never live like i thought that

was okay.



i thought of how

they’d scream at me for this.



i thought about how i could write a billion words and it still wouldn’t be enough.



i thought of a clock.



i thought you were tired of listening.



i felt unsafe inside my body

felt too warm.






if this was what the

universe gave me i wanted

to stop i wanted

to stop i wanted to break

everything i could think of i wanted

the shaking in my heads to




i was breathing like a billow struggling

to start a fire in the middle of an

arctic blizzard.



i told myself i would

be different but i didn’t know if

anyone would find magic in

my vocal cords.



i didn’t want to care anymore but i wasn’t sure if i could afford to.



your will said

everything but the

things you meant.



i remember the way

hope shattered when we read it.



smiles meant nothing.



endless i’m sorry.



counting pages.



metal meaningless.



weight on my eyes made me want to

curl into the smallest possible

seed i could find.



the name wasn’t mine it was only a student number.



it’s night there’s a knock on the door. IT FELT LIKE NOTHING.



i sped forward under the streetlights

the second before the crash

broke my body rendered my mind

a prisoner there were

streetlights and stars i went as

fast as i could my breath made a fractal

of steam in the air the second before it broke

the world was beautiful.



dust-specks made mountains.



i said nothing

to you in the hallways but god i

wish i did.



the recipes lied but they

were truer than our history

which we studied obsessively

we were taught to

ride our dreams like they

were oceans we were

taught that we were made to shine we

did not ever ignite the

kindling in our throats.



we drenched each other

in gasoline thinking it would

give us talent.



mountains were broken

on the edge

of emotion



it’s calm then.



what would you choose if there weren’t really choices?



i had been weakened but at least my weakness

allowed me to feel happiness I WOULD RATHER BE WEAK







i lost track of the archive i kept of the notes we passed.



we closed our eyes

when the phone rang

because it was almost

never good news when

anyone wanted to talk to us.



i leaned over

the overpass

and screamed.

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