‘Kintsugi’ and other poems by Shannen Zitz
By: Shannen Zitz
i have mended hundreds of
i never questioned the necessity of it,
just knew, this is probably how
it would always be.
never knew where the cracks
were coming from,
only that they were there.
and i filled them.
with whatever i had.
you only need a little bit
to give a cracked thing
a shining seam.
my body is a map to the world inside me.
and maybe it’s good damage,
maybe there is beauty in broken things.
this boy. boy of steel. boy of calloused hands, boy with strong arms, but he knows how to be soft. boy of ice. boy, let me melt you. boy, why won’t you open your arms? boy takes his time. i bet boy doesn’t know that i think about him all of the time. maybe boy would have done it by now if he were planning on doing it at all. boy of tug of war, but boy always wins. boy of thunder, boy of summer, oh boy, i never know what i am going to get. this boy, with touch like springtime, with moves like honey. boy of dusk, boy likes me with my eyes low, sultry-like. boy of lock and key, but boy threw away the key. boy of greed, boy with that too-strong grip on my heart, boy makes me feel stupid, and i am no stupid girl. boy reminds me i should know better. i like the way he moves but i wish he were moving toward me. he never sticks to anything, but i wish he would stick with me.
READ THIS ALOUD OR DON’T READ IT AT ALL
i am thinking about the ways in which
my hurting works.
how i am sad, even in the color yellow.
how it rains here, even when it’s sunny.
i hear my friends laughing in the other room,
and my mother says she just wants me to be happy.
i tell her i am. really, i’m doing better.
my therapist doesn’t know that usually, i lie to her.
i’m afraid that my pain causes pain,
that one day my pain will just make you angry.
i don’t know if i’m making this up,
but if i feel like this then it must be real.
i have been taught that i am beautiful,
but that usually isn’t the first word i hear anymore.
think: hot, sexy, freaky.
think: maybe if she’d smile a little more.
i have showed myself my own strength,
i mean i’m here, aren’t i?
however unstable, however unhappy.
it’s like out of sight out of mind,
why the fuck am i so forgettable.
why am i the only person who
misses me when i am gone.
and it’s got me thinking,
maybe girls like me are meant to hurt like this.
maybe not everybody can swallow sunshine, the way i swallow sin.
maybe i don’t get to be remembered.
i know i’m just barely twenty,
but hurting was so much easier as a teenager.
it just felt like there was so much time
to fix all of this.
i want to…
read your goosebumps like
braille beneath my cool fingertips,
…run my hands along your spine, feel
every e d g e every r i d g e.
i want to measure the curvature of
your bottom lip with my tongue,
follow the paths arranged by your veins,
get up and get under your skin,
like i’m trying to map out
e v e r y. way
to leave you breathless.
i don’t know how you do this to me.
you leave my tongue tasting like pineapples:
your sticky sweetness, dripping down my chin —
it hurts sometimes, but i still want you.
everything you do — it does me in.