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Tales from Another Broken Heart This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I’ve never been the optimist, never bled sunlight or kissed fertile soil. I have always been the girl waiting on the concrete saying “it will never happen again” whenever a good thing lands on my fingertips and vanishes quickly in soapy nonchalance.

I learned to kiss in the summer with eyes I’d never seen. A boy came to me with sweaty forehead and open palms. He cupped my fourteen years within them, frightened by their lightness. And he taught me loving behind buildings, in the grass, and on back stairs where we hid our discoverings of each other’s waistlines behind open eyes and philosophy. And I told myself when I flew south for the winter that he would be my one taste of the summer.

A boy opened up the inside of his mouth for me. He told me he did it because the wound would heal faster. I opened my ankles to show him I was serious. And while he tasted the sunlight in ribcage, I imagined holding his seasons in my stomach, dying with them lodged in my arteries. I convinced myself that he would clutch my wrists if I drowned. I pretended the water we were sinking in was the blood of love, the condensation of passion into liquid form, cradling us to outlast our own deaths. But the boy never intended to hold me. He left knives in my ankles and chose to die alone, on a hill, far from where I drowned waiting for him. I mistook his crying for caring and tried to use my own flesh to fix him, but he discarded it with the reasons I loved him. We were both left with too little skin to bleed.

A boy made me believe I was made for bleeding, that my bones were glass waiting to be broken. Without him, I was a corpse lying open with no one left to finish the autopsy. No one cared enough to find my cause of death. And I was sure this meant broken. I was best cremated, not worth anything in any more solid form than ashes. I sank into the chlorine of pessimism with more passion than I’d ever allowed out of my hips before. This, I was sure, was it. This was the end of fingers and nighttimes. My life was destined to be an endless, blinding daytime. I would never drink from the moon or a mouth being kissed. I had never been more certain of anything.

Then a boy whose name carried more weight than his body stitched me up, dried me off, and faced me to the moon in a reminder that the earth keeps turning even when you’re face down. When he kissed me, I remembered how to feel childlike. He tasted more like moonlight than I remembered, and held my hand to brace my past between us. A boy who will probably forget me told me I deserved to be kissed.

When I started to tell myself it would never happen again, that this boy’s asking smile was my last, I realized I was wrong. Every time the rusted chains holding up my heart broke, I told myself the fall was permanent, yet I managed to fall again. A boy with a sweaty forehead, a boy with a bleeding mouth, a boy with a train track rib cage came to me asking to run their fingers around my jagged edges and try to piece me together. They’ve left the pieces in my diaphragm so I could feel the weight of all my broken bottles and bruised shins. And I have enough now to do a study of myself and create sculpture with my own mistakes. Something tells me that trying is all it takes, that I am not destined for pessimism and broken things, for worthless chains and dead bodies. I am a solver of my own puzzles and a healer of my own wounds. And even when my mouth is not the mouth being kissed, I am not alone. Not at all.




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TheGianaJinx said...
today at 1:24 pm:
By far this was one of the most amazing things I have ever read.
 
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