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My Book of Broken Ponds


by Darryl Price


 

 

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

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

to hear about that. It gets too close to the actual murder of love. I get 

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

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

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


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

end of all our bitter dinner battles to come. Everything's a real mess I guess, 

but maybe, just maybe it's still beautiful if you're lucky enough to believe the love is working 

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

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

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


and it broke our hearts to do so. We broke our hearts to shoo off the 

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

mightiest keys on earth, 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 with each other that we were. 

We broke our hearts to smash their sourly played marching machines yo pieces and get them 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 one. Broke 

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

a sloping hill breaks a cloud gathering 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 dumb loyalty. You don't want to play with us anymore. But we 

still see you standing around in 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 tiny 

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

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


hologram of an ocean's winding wandering staircase in need of a nail. We broke our hearts like 

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

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

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

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

made of indecipherable chunks of wool stuck to the paper wheels and shoes of all modern commerce held abay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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