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Book of Broken Ponds


by Darryl Price


 

 

We broke our hearts rather than sit in your reversible seats with 

the plain brown paper packages on our laps, we did so together. You don't want 

to hear about that. It gets too close to murder. I get 

you. But how do you think that makes us feel?  We broke 

our hearts in order to shine your shoes with our bruises. We broke our hearts 

in order to not forget who got lost when. We broke our hearts


so you might experience something raw on your broken tongues before the 

end of all our bitter battles. Everything's a mess I guess, 

but maybe it's still beautiful if you're lucky enough to believe love 

in spite of such monumentally dull haters in the world. That's what it takes. That

and brave dreaming. We broke our hearts like cups of ice. Broke 

heads and we fed the poor among you. We broke our hearts 


and it broke our hearts. We broke our hearts to shoo the 

shrill raven from the top of the bedroom door. To turn the 

mightiest keys, and ask forgiveness, and be naked in front of the old white guys in white shirts 

tribunal. We broke our hearts like little nervous flames. Like the map of 

a need. Like the latest small children in like that we were. 

We broke our hearts to smash their sourly played marching machines back to keeping real time. We broke 


our hearts with a softer smile than yours. We put flowers in all their abandoned 

chimneys. We sang songs in their covered-up kitchens. We drove the drowned

cars back out of the weeping ponds. We wept ourselves silly over that. Broke 

our hearts like sprinklers, like a line of pine trees going down 

a sloping hill breaks a cloud in two. We broke our hearts at super-sonic speed. We broke 

our hearts until it was far easier to accept our failures and have open-air 


heart attacks than to fake loyalty. You don't want to play with us anymore. But we 

still see you standing around the smoking fields. We broke our hearts, shouting at 

the sun, the moon and the stars. We broke our hearts believing 

in something, anything. We broke our hearts like so many grains of 

sand. Like light leaked around soft edges, stashed beneath a closed door.  Like screaming 

jet fighters.  Like faraway banged shut screened doors. An out of control 


hologram of an ocean's winding wandering staircase. We broke our hearts like 

a subpoena. Or hijacked letter.  Or suddenly missing mushrooms from the human refrigerator of decaying time.

Broke our hearts again and again ‘til you started showing up 

for work. And now we're the last shards of that lasting peace

scattered like plastic lids and straws across the parking lots, like leftover bunnies

made of indecipherable wool stuck to the wheels and shoes of all modern commerce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus poem:

 

Anything could be typed here and it wouldn't matter

 

because words are only smoke signals right now. Because

if words could reach you they would have already

been in your life like light or air. What

 

 I mean is nothing really needs to be said

other than what is being said. So however many

words it takes that is the number. Anything less

 

is a lie and we are way past lying

to each other. Our lines have been spoken and

this makes me glad. It is not a terrible

 

burden. If anything it is a perfect fit. The

here I inhabit thanks you for the one you

are. This poem has no other meaning. It flowered

 

for you. It will fade with your name on

its lips. That is its whole season and for

this you cannot be sorry. Hope it's your color

 

or can become it. The anything became the something

only because you deserve the living facts of my

art, not that I deserve or ask for anything more.


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