When We Break Up: A Poem


By Fortesa Latifi

when we break up, it is not clean
we both cry and only stop when we notice
your bedroom furniture floating down the hallway
the neighbors call to tell us they can’t sleep
because my heart is cracking so goddamn loud
and so, to quiet me, you say just for now

when we break up, it does not make sense
I try to wrap my head around it but I get so dizzy that I throw up
the world spins by as I sit pulling vomit out of my hair
and this is only the first time

when we break up for the second time,
it still is not clean
we sit at a park in the dirt for so long
that by the time we get up
we blend in with the earth
this is okay because we think it’s swallowing us whole anyway

when we break up for the second time,
it still does not make sense
we get in my car
and I say I won’t stop driving until we figure it out
but my gas needle inches toward empty
and we still haven’t found the words
but we aren’t done yet

when we break up for the third time,
it is the dirtiest
it’s raining so much that I feel like
the whole universe is drowning
in one last choking breath
we talk for two hours
and when you finally say you’re leaving
I sink my knees into the mud and beg you to stay
you leave me there as you drive away
and when I finally walk back into my house
there is a trail of mud
from the front door to my bedroom

when we break up for the third time,
it makes the least sense
because words like I love you
and I’m leaving you
are next to each other
when I thought they’d stay worlds apart

when we break up for the last time,
we are tired
it isn’t clean but we don’t care anymore
it doesn’t make sense but we are out of strength

when we break up for the last time,
I realize I’ve forgotten how to fall apart
so I hold myself together instead

writer photo

Fortesa Latifi

Fortesa is a 22-year old poet. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and calls the desert home. Her first book, This Is How We Find Each Other, was published through Where Are You press in 2014 and she still can't believe it. Her work has been featured in Persona, Words Dance and Rising Phoenix. She is currently a contributing editor at Words Dance and a contributing author for Kosovo 2.0. She is working on her second book which will come out in the fall.