lindsey bartlett

Everyones past is a tragedy.
Everyones heart has
been broken.
That means
thousands of
reasons to feel
sorry for
yourself.

Hundreds of different
shades of pain, an
endless rainbow of
exes and
depressing
stories.

Relationships pile up,
as rotten and overwhelming
as a landfill. Dumped.
I need to reduce
my interpersonal
carbon footprint.

There are too many
bones in the graveyard
of my heart. I am
almost out of
room, I will have
to start
cremating
soon.

I want to forget them all,
every failed attempt
at love.
Can you
wipe my slate clean?
Can your kiss
outweigh
a decade
of defeat?

—  A Decade of Defeat by Lindsey Bartlett
anchors, glass teeth, and other metaphors that describe you perfectly.

This is a poem for people
who have turned self-destruction
into an art form, who
rip through lives like
serrated knives,
people with
glass teeth and hearts 
even more fragile.

This is a poem for the martyrs of
philosophy, who stir madness 
like sugar into their tea, 
who speak exclusively in
Kafka quotes and 
fortune cookies.

This is a poem for lost travelers,
compassless and tired who
walk alone for a lifetime
cleverly disguised as
a single moment.

This is for the artists
who paint entire novels about
confused platonic heartache and
destroy relationships as often
as they destroy canvas,
who start crying if you ask them
about their future, not because
the concept frightens them, but because
it will only ever be
a concept.

This is a poem for the believers
whom I admire, the ones who cut out
bible verses like coupons,
buy-one-get-one-free morality,
the ones who will never
pull the nickel cross
off their necks no matter how
bad life gets.

This is a poem for the boys who always
come back, who never really left,
who sit below me in all kinds of weather,
who hold down my soul,
who are my anchor.