After the Breaking

the word stay comes out like a car crash, where trauma is a blizzard trying to fit itself back inside my mouth. now when i think about love, i remember the bone i broke, how it is the only part of my body to ever protest anything. i ask it for advice on healing. it says here. here.     stretch your heart around the knife to keep it safe salt the wound       fill in the fractures with gold         sing to the blood       loudly.     so i let myself become abandoned. now my only memory is a papercut on the corner of my mouth. this is where i beg for something without a name. where i apologize to everyone for how much i have cried. i stand in the snow and wait for it to turn into a flood. it makes me miss the feeling of not wanting to die so much that it has become a prayer and i whisper it into everything. i drink honey from the bottle before i talk to god. his voice kicks its way out of my head like a shotgun and says this is how the bullet learns about forgiveness. but i still think of you whenever they find a body on the news. if that’s love then i want to let go of it. like a bad dream, like the holiday that turned to ash, like the entire field of puncture marks on my arm to remind me of the day i couldn’t stop screaming. my collarbone still hurts if i use it too much. my heart is the same way. i still love everything that is out of my reach.

– Austyn Degelman