On My Bookshelf & Breaking My Heart

Sometimes I like to break my own heart. I think anyone who’s even a little in love with words does the same thing. The one surefire way to crack myself open is reaching for the dog-eared books lining my poetry shelf. There are poems in these books and lines in these poems that hurt. They hurt in the exact way we need them to. Here they are in their gorgeous aching glory.

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
from “Something We Don’t Talk About, Part I”

“I didn’t tell him that even after a crash,

a key still fits the ignition.
There just isn’t anything left to drive.

We kept eating the meal she had made.
I kept listening for a jingle of metal.

But only radio static filled the room,
not a single siren blared. Not even one.”

(Write Bloody Publishing, 2014)

Crush by Richard Siken
from “Little Beast”

“What would you like? I’d like my money’s worth.
                                    Try explaining a life bundled with episodes of this—
            swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood
on the first four knuckles.
                                                              We pull our boots on with both hands
but we can’t punch ourselves awake and all I can do
                     is stand on the curb and say Sorry
                                    about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.

I couldn’t get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.”

(Yale University Press, 2005)

Chloe by Kristina Haynes
from “Chloe Indulges”

“Don’t think you’re fooling anyone
with the broken eggshells stuffed into
the kitchen drain. Chloe will hold the hand
of someone who is very important to her
before the end of the week. Sometimes
she almost forgets her name but then
she finds the CD with it scribbled on like an
afterthought. Chloe, I know how sad you are.
I hear it every time the needle skips.”

(Words Dance Publishing, 2015)

A Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics
from “The Wedding”

“So my home is not an honest home.
So my home is an empty bed.
That’s the thing about heartbreak.
It’s the smallest of worlds ending.
Everyone goes around you smiling,
like it’s nothing to close a door.”

(Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015)

Contributing Editor

Fortesa Latifi is a 21-year old poet. Her first book, This Is How We Find Each Other was published through Where Are You Press in 2014. She hopes you find something good here. She knows you will.