Broken Lovers

Comments (0) Issue 3, Poetry, Writing

Broken Lovers

By Maddie Fox


& I’ll cry for you on the kitchen floor, but I won’t ask you to come back.

Broken bones of the past piece together the only skeleton left in your closet-

And I’ll always remember his name.

Recognize secrets in his eyes.

A familiar face in every broken boy I tried to love—

So I’ll remember his name.


Told me at summer camp he would cut his wrists on the tree bark.

Said he liked when the sunscreen seeped into his scars-

I played tetherball with Kurt every day that summer.

Made a home for him on the box ball court.

Tucked myself in here each day he boarded the bus.

Made this own sanctuary a prison but —

He said he loved me.


Snow’s falling now. Trees stained with red and white.

Pointed my finger at “Camp Director Cookie”;

Blamed her when the summer ended and so did we.

He said he liked my hair braided.



Bus stops and backpacks, the next, captain of the basketball team.

Waiting at my locker every day when the bell rang.

Gave me his hand;

Look down at it and shrug. Don’t know where to go from here.

Back away slowly.

With eyes locked, felt the distance extend.

He said he loved me.

I fear I’ll never be looked at that way again.



Saw him near the swingset. Heard his stupid laugh and saw emptiness occupy his eyes and I—

Was mesmerized.

Watched this world take more of Sean than I ever had.

Watched his family take back every nucleotide in his DNA.

Said he didn’t want it anyway;

Said he didn’t want this anyway.

Watched him shrink down into the palm of my hand.

Put him in my back pocket where his burdens were easier to carry and moved onto the next.


Spit out any remaining innocence my body held and let it seep and soak into his mattress.

Think I’ll label him Holden for the purpose of your mental imagery—

I will tell you—

The cliff is steep.

Falling too hard;

Diving heart first into the pit of my own stomach.

Still haven’t found the bottom yet.

I will tell you—

He said he loved me.

But, don’t they all?

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