top of page

We Break Again and More

by darlene anita scott

Like incense you light

cigarette after cigarette

Still wind sets afire

the delicate cartilage

of your ears.
What happened

to make you want
to happen to me?

Did it tickle first

then sting?

Did you wash it

until it bled clean?

Did the line crust
& scab eventually?

Or, did gangrene rot
your reasons, turn you

amputee—feelings first
a tickle then sting

Finally full on hurt?
Scared you so with

their throbbing you
suspected infection

Scrubbed them raw

opening them to air,

pests, & pollution?

until they smelled

of the rot you scalpeled
& discarded?


I’m not the first time
your hurt was introduced 

through pleasantries &
random conversation.

Found you one fine day &
broadcast your shortcomings


like breaking news,
like you break me.

Too bad there are no laws
against the body breaking;

soul rotting, expelling stench

over cities & children;

errand runners & possibilities.

We break again & again

like skin that fails at healing,
pulsing angry, boiling pus

that it be held no more.

Spring/Summer 2018
Photo: darlene anita scott

darlene anita scott is a poet and visual artist based in Richmond, VA.  Her art has been featured in The Ohio State University’s The Journal and at The Girl Museum, an online museum celebrating girlhood.  Recent writing appears in J Journal: New Writing on Justice and Star 82 Review

bottom of page