“Unfractured” – a series of poems Ft. Carly Taylor



What rings in my bones

is holy, lights

which burst: there might be

scissors in the kitchen drawer.


Your hands

opening to fit

my shoulder, to keep me

still. For the record, there

was nothing left.


I am losing everything

I touch, I am

bursting light, I am

God, you will remain

impossibly far forever—




The boots I seemed to have on
each time something heavy

crashed onto my skull, the laces which
long ago shredded through,

the uneven soles—

amid the fifteen more pairs
I bought to keep them company,
fifteen more dresses, the foundation

and lipstick and new turns of phrase,

I am imitating

someone unfractured.



Each fight, each moment without a map, slick eyeliner

across my face, something ripped off the wall, the night

in that cement basement when we echoed off each other


and could not stop. Love, maybe. We could not stop

hurting so we hurt harder, lower. Your soft hands which

always stayed soft, another thing to hang over my head:


denying the mirror the proof I begged it for every night
stumbling home not as drunk as the night before never

sure if the cold came from brutal Illinois winter or ache.


I loathe the emptiness, its obscurity. I loathe the worst thing,

the horror on your face when my back hit that first corner and

what could I do but fight your fire with as much of my own?


—I would rather anything than this stinging, hollow


place, would give up even the last happy moment if only

to alleviate the vacancy within me which has swelled ten times larger than my body.

I keep waking up hoping to feel skin which went numb

sometime that first January, sometime before it should have started


to hurt, cracking a little further open each morning. When I became vicious.
When I forgot myself throwing daggers. When I stopped.

There’s probably something left in that crumpled town, some day

when I go looking. I can find old places, I can make them mine.

Some year when I forgive us both.




I dreamed of your chest, wet

with shower water, the twist

of old comfort. In my own


bed where you once

parted my thighs

and covered my body 


there is wind: wishing for another

taste of years ago wrapped tight

without struggling. We closed our fingers


for fear of drifting further

from the light, further

from the twelfth story window,


from the edge 


I considered that last shattered-air night

when loving you hurt worse

than break-the-glass, than jump,


than concrete-on-bone, than pretending

it would make a difference to die: just the blood

of some girl in some parking lot in Kansas.



I stopped calling them nightmares
the day I woke up comforted

by the fading warmth of your mouth
against my collarbone—the tattoo on my thigh

which reminds me of you, reminds me that

this is not a nightmare anymore,

I am awake and I am used to being bruised.
When I left to live in the midst of my grief

I was running into the rain to keep dry
but drenched, gasping,

the glass beneath my feet is

at last worn smooth.

Poetry by Carly Taylor

Image found on google images.

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