sixteen

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP for Unsplash

in the back of an old car
you learned to pretend to love a person
and then convince yourself so afterwards.
you learned to write poetry like a lifeline
because it was the only thing honest.

at sixteen you took in a heart
that was more scar tissue than love
and learned to hold it between your small untrained palms,
at nineteen you will learn to break it.
you will cry your tears on a bus to the city,
your heartbreak will last the length of an old song.
you will learn that you can carry around a broken heart much better
than you imagined,
you will wonder if that makes you a traitor.

it is only normal, after all, to be left behind.
you will depart the bus and enter the city
with a few more scars than when you entered,
and no one will ask you how you carried them.
you will learn to carry them anyway.

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