*This is probably the first piece I’ve written that was intended to be slam; enjoy*

To the Boy with the Broken Heart,

I will never love you.

I have spent so much time
caved up inside myself,
carving my own initials into
the bark that lines
the cavity of my chest,
that I have discovered
there is only room in that
chiseled heart for one right now.

I am not sorry.

So many times
we become like bandages,
wrapping ourselves around others’ wounds
and confusing hurt
for love.
We kiss through gauze,
and assume that the coppery taste left in
our mouths
is unalchemated gold.

Rebounds and romance
though both beautifully alliterated
are not synonymous, darling.

If we could only teach these lessons to the
children that still live inside us;
not the ones that aren’t born,
but the ones craving to be mothered
by our under-cared for souls.

Instead, we carry demons on our backs,
feed our ghosts,
and let
orchestrate twisted lullabies
until we fall asleep on stiff sheets
and soaked pillow cases.

we glorify crying here.

We treat scars like badges of honor,
and hearts like grenades,
waiting to make a mosaic out of the shrapnel.

we worship agony here.

We put pain upon an altar,
and kiss the sides and palms,
claiming we will save the hurting,
the dying,
and the diseased.

Mother Theresas, please.

Do not take on my hurt,
or I will never learn how to swim back to shore
from these waters.
I am broken, surely,
but I am also my own buoy.

Hope floats, lover.

I quite like my own stitching;
I quite like the words I’m branding against
my pale skin.

I find that I feel the most
beautiful when
I am happy,
when I am laughing.

I find that there is light in my eyes
when I see beauty;
that the paintings hung on the walls of
the Philadelphia Art Museum are just as
gorgeous as the words
my best friend speaks when she is
reciting poetry.

you ought to know,
that your story is not over.

That just because her fingerprints
no longer make
against your skin,
across your
cheeks or
your lips,
it does not mean that
the sky does not shine as bright
at night
when the moon is barely glowing.

Not all things can be cured with sunshine.

Not all loves can be cured over time.

And truly, we may figure this out for ourselves,
or we may wait,
fine-tuning our windpipes to sound like church bells so
we may come out rejoicing,
instead of mourning,
tears staining and drying like

There is no weeping here;
our bodies have become temples that hold helium hearts,
and dopamine is now our daily bread.

If you are waiting for your beacon,
well, here it is.
If you are waiting for some sign,
look straight ahead and realize that:

Concerning stitching,
I quite like your seams.

Concerning poetry,
I saw the ink
when you let yourself bleed.

are not treading lightly.

As the waves crashed and spilled
upon one another,
in this vast ocean of

crushed hearts and broken dreams,
I looked out across the water and saw that you
had become

your own buoy.

To the Boy Reborn in the Sea,

Hope floats,






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