Broken Heart Emoji

Human beings are stretched too thin

She reaches for the book on the top shelf

her hands and her pride held high above her head

 

Sweet surrender Don’t shoot Don’t shoot

The sternum makes a loud, decisive “pop.”

A release of air, and her arms fall

 

Is this where the threads holding it all together finally snap?

where the aorta prominently leans to the left

in the broken heart emoji

 

Like an iceberg that exits from Antarctica,

A break. There is a family of penguins on the mainland

warm, bellies full of food, together.

 

There is the lone penguin hitching a ride on the drifting iceberg

waving its wing as the current moves it out to sea

except it’s not a cartoon and you are the penguin.

 

Where does it hurt, and why?

Here, she taps her chest- and I don’t know.

Plant the flag on the left side

 

Of the broken heart emoji

There is a lone penguin on an iceberg

holding the flag, shooting up the flares

 

Nodding, this right here is the spot

the rescue mission is looking for

where the heart still beats

 

 

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Tire Pressure

My head hurts

The ache has been there

for a long time now

My heart hurts

The ache has been there

even longer

 

When I tried to voice this

out loud, the words

hovered in-between

the air and my tonsils

like this:

 

“I don’t feel well.

I’ve felt this way for

awhile.”  (Forever).

 

“Let me check the

air pressure of

your car tires

before you drive

away,” he said.

“They’re fine.”

“I’ll check anyway.”

 

As if the quick fix

we’re all looking for

could be quantified by

pounds per square inch,

like a car tire or

the DNA of a human being.

 

Where is the Emotional Bacitracin?

To refill our souls the way

the air plumps up the tires,

so that they can traverse the

great expanse of life

leaving their mark in

the fullest possible way.

 

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Years

I answer texts 3 hours after the fact. The only love I’ve ever known how to receive is of the tough variety: the handprints, the yelling. Always the yelling. The marks faded long ago, out of sight, fossilized in mind.

Maury called and you are not the father! They are not your fingerprints. You ask, “How are you? When can I visit?” “Good. Never.” 

You come anyway. 

When you are here everything melts away. The coffee shop swallows us whole. The perfect amount of cream in the cup. The cake with your name on it: “Welcome Home.” The way life was meant to be before I pushed away, the way an Olympic swimmer somersaults into the wall feet-first and propels into space. I ran feet-first away from you, you whose love is of the good variety. My heart got tangled in the weeds. The coffee shop brews a new flavor. We keep coming back for more. 

The Cure

The Cure is the go-to daydream

What we tell ourselves while entwined

in the arms of a lover in a Queen size bed

to calm the “what ifs” circulating in the quiet

 

If we keep calling its name

The Cure The Cure

maybe one day it will hear us

 
If my future hypothetical grandchildren

were to roll their eyes at the thousandth telling

of The Cure story around the campfire

I’d die happy, for they’d only known a better world.

 

 

No Rules Poetry

Portrait of a Millennial Stuck in an Elevator

Doors open.

Push the buttons.

Doors close.

The levers shift with

the weight of it all.

Floor 5, please.

 

Today, it’s Floor Three-and-a-half

stuck somewhere in-between

the black and white, the grey.

 

“Millennials don’t dooo anything!

the Baby Boomer grad classmate

bemoans, while the Professor raises his

eyebrows at us. “Well?”

Outnumbered, we respond

internally.

 

I can only speak for myself

but I will go to bed hungry again tonight. 

Thirst for knowledge is louder than 

the grumbling.

 
A classmate: My family immigrated here. Our 

home is thousands of miles away. Our friends

will never see the inside of this classroom

this avenue they call Freedom. So I’m here. 

 
Portrait of a Millennial who forgot her

purse, who is now stuck in an elevator.

We won’t call it a broken elevator

because it may well rise again,

and we should give it that chance.

 

The purse not in the elevator

holds insulin syringes,

juice in case of

hypoglycemia,

water, notecards,

and responsibilities.

 

Being stuck in an elevator with

type 1 diabetes and no purse

is what anxiety spends your entire life

training you for:

finding a way out when all is lost

in a corn field maze of ridiculousness.

 

PUSH TO CALL

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY!

You push, it calls.

Ringing. No one is home

on the other side. Please

leave a message.

 

You drop to the floor and pray

You pound at the doors but they

are walled shut. Without insulin

life bleeds you dry within hours.

Open the doors! Dooo anything. 

 

This won’t be the first time,

nor the last, when your back is

against the wall.


We’re at Floor Three-and-a-half

There’s still time

We’re just getting started

We’re almost there

 

 

 

No Rules Poetry