Submission Countdown: 11 days

On Falling Apart by Katelyn Vance

There are lots of ways to fall apart:

With your head in-between your knees Crying so hard your nose starts bleeding Messy streams of vermillion
Into too-clean porcelain sinks

At three in the morning while your roommate
Makes friends with Aristocrats that come in clear bottles.

Or crying in Cal II class
While the teacher dictates numbers that swirl around themselves Derivatives hurt your head
And you’re scared of the letter C.
Nothing feels good anymore
Although you think math never did.

With your fingernails digging into your palms
As your friends slip you out of their lives
As easily as you slip out of the swing in your old backyard. Now you eat lunch in the instrument room
Gummy bears and peanut butter sandwiches,
Alone in the dim light.

When you curl up on the band hall steps, Hair still wet enough to give you hope For pneumonia in the January chill. Your eyes feel like vehicles for salt water And you can still taste his mouth Although you wish he didn’t have one.

Finally, sitting on your mom’s pretty, white quilt Stuffed with goose feathers
Plucked from now flightless birds
With your Dad’s pistol in your tear-slicked fingers. You search the corners of your body for hope,

And can’t find it.