TEN STEPS TO THE EXIT
Grinding a lovebug beneath your heel. What happens when i love you gets
stuck between your teeth. Shattered glass, seven years bad, rancid between us like
US Postal Service apologies. The pride in not looking away. The pride in not looking.
Catching a firefly between cupped hands. The art of flickering. The science behind wanting to
crush things you find sacred. The poetry behind comparing you to a firefly.
Arms opening wide. Wider. Wider than you could
reach. Backbends in the grass turned somersault. Think pavement.
Taking the fork in the road. Trace the lines on your palm and follow one to the past. To the
future. To the intersection of hello and goodbye. Hello and goodbye. Hello and goodbye. Hello
and good fucking riddance.
The bloodstains from the separation of heart
and sleeve don’t wash out. The heart pinned back into place is now scared of the dark.
The shakiness of first steps. Arms stiff from counterbalance. Teeter and totter
Turning into a pillar of salt.
The shakiness of second steps. Flinching at fireworks. The stumble, the Fall. Revisiting skinned
knees. Reaching your hands out for--
Retrospect. Hindsight. Nostalgia. Hitchhiking your way backwards.
A dissection of the self. Excavating dried flower petals. The smell of roses never washes out.
Worn like perfume, worn holes through old tee shirts. Graveyard turned memorial turned
Madelyn McZeal is a queer 18 year old African American girl from Houston, Texas who enjoys old books, rainy days, and unfinished poems. She is an editor of Zig Zag Zine, a small publication for members of marginalized communities. More information about the zine can be found at zigzagzine.co.vu and her own poetry can be found at blood-to-ink.tumblr.com.