Member preview

Fragmentary

pieces of a heart — part one of three

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I didn’t know you’d break me.

I didn’t know I was capable of being 
 broken any longer,
 because I didn’t think enough
 pieces 
 remained

to attempt making a thing
resembling human again.

I didn’t know that I shouldn’t 
 believe in knights,
 because every time I tried stopping
 I’d fall asleep 
and you’d keep showing up.

Not with a sword, 
 but a harness full of words
 that both liberated and enslaved me.

Maybe I wanted enslavement.
Maybe I’ve outdrawn one too many.

Maybe love is the cold 
 and the broken 
 hallelujah.

Maybe when I begged and pleaded 
 for kindness
 you felt I needed something harsher.

Maybe my honesty 
 was too much for you,
 and that’s why you kept trying 
 to convince me
it meant deceit.

That I couldn’t trust 
 my own 
thoughts and feelings.

That they were false, 
 and what I needed
 was to listen 
to what you deemed best.

Maybe I fell for your shock value.
For the ways you drew out mine.

I didn’t know there are wrong ways
 to love someone, 
 but I should have.

Should have knowns 
 don’t save anyone at all.
Should have knowns are weak.

I knew it was wrong.
 That we were wrong,
 and yet sometimes…

Sometimes 
 chasing 
 broken-down hallelujahs
 is all you have left, 
when you’ve been broken

Down
 so
 many 
 times

it’s the only thing
 you can remember how to do.

Like what you read? Give Elizabeth Helmich a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.