earthquakes, heartbreaks, bad takes

growing was slow, then sudden

like tectonic plates drawing near,

then clicking together,

leaving a trail of collapsed buildings in its wake-

the only one standing; a tall pillar of salt with the name Piper L. etched in the base-

a statue of someone not yet known, but a thousand years old already.


age came with anxiety

or the other way around-

anxiety came with age.


it was a series of moments,

of ligaments,

bones pulling outwards, growing longer,

accompanied by dull pains in the tibia, the fibula,

and every other bone name i’ve forgot since anatomy.


it was a series of moments,

of movements,

of a twisting tongue lapping at my newfound curves,

of an eyelid flickering shut,

of pulling on the skin of my stomach, searching for the separation of tissue,

of cellulite and fat.


it was a series of moments,

of betrayals,

of children forgetting to wear friendship bracelets,

of tweens dropping bloody mary for true crime,

of teenagers building secret bombs in their basements,

of wondering who would care if they happened to go off.


growing was slow, and then sudden

like a soldier dropping his gun,

then watching it misfire into an unsuspecting crowd,

leaving bloodshed and tears in its wake-

the soldier left wondering how he got here, when things went wrong-

when he transformed from a poor chapel boy to a mass murderer,

how much blood was on his hands.


death came with wisdom,

or the other way around-

wisdom came with death.


middle school was when it all went to shit,

when a ghost whispered in my ear that my family didn’t love me,

when i was foolish enough to believe it,

when i learned that trust was a fragile beast to be kept in a cage

when i learned to keep her safe.


eighth grade was when it all went to shit,

when a bug crawled into my skin and made me promises,

when he whispered i love you, i love you, i love you

when he cried, i’ll kill myself if you don’t love me back,

when i learned that people can reach through the cage's bars, so a glass box is better.


zach’s death was when it all went to shit,

when i cried for so long my eyes were swollen for the next week,

when i packed my bag for school the next day and pretended like it was nothing,

when i learned third time's the charm! does not apply to returning the human heartbeat,

when i learned that heartbreak can leak through the air holes, so stagnation is safer.


my dad’s car wreck was when it all went to shit,

when i learned he was fine, but wept like he wasn’t,

when i learned that this was a cycle,

when i learned it would repeat,

when i learned that the best thing to do to a beast is to put it down,

before it hurts anyone else- before it hurts itself.


growing was slow, then sudden

like blood stemming from a shallow cut on the human forearm,

rising to the surface first,

then pooling over,

leaving regret in its wake-

when you realise what you have done,

and more importantly, what it means.


recovery came with relapse,

or the other way around,

relapse came with recovery.


hair-trigger heartbreak like a nuclear explosion,

one crossed line and the whole world goes boom-

but it will be remade, just like everything.


hair-trigger heartbreak like the human soul,

made of fissures and gorilla glue,

things that seem broken, but exist nonetheless.


hair-trigger heartbreak like-

well, semantics, really.

all that matters is we heal.


growing came with time,

or the other way around,

maybe time came with growing.


This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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