I used to dissect appliances
when I was younger.
If a printer broke, or a small television or device
failed in some way,
I’d ask my mom if I could take it
to the garage and she’d say fine
and be careful.
I’d slam a hammer on any part that’d shatter.
I’d throw it as high and far as I could.
I’d look at the intricacies inside
and wonder.
Then I’d clean up, collecting
the pieces worth a look,
kicking around the questionable screws
and plastic chunks,
sweeping together the shards like guts.
I’d keep getting worthless objects
because I was responsible,
but I can’t remember when I stopped taking things apart.
The other day someone asked
if I was dating anyone
and I said no
and that I was afraid of the outcomes.
Of it working or not, she figured.
Of lasting or not, I said,
and I described the sabotage
that ensures neither lasting nor ending,
but a perpetual breaking under my hands.
When someone leaves my life they live forever,
when I leave someone they’re dead to me.
But I like to sustain the pain
so nobody wins
even if I’m stuck cleaning up the mess.

– North Hollywood, CA


Taken in Aberdeen, WA

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