should I write a poetry collection about my love life?

Keeley Young

I can be your breaker of hearts
(not that I intend on it)
I hear it right now, like an echo
the breaker of chains
like a scourge
my longest relationship was eight months
it was my first.

see there’s always been reason for the failures, every time
(maybe I’ve got terrible soothsaying)
he’s clingy – too much – let me breathe
(long before the smoke)
he’s noncommittal, he wants to go back to New Zealand, there’s a freaking pandemic
he ghosts me
he ghosts me
(that’s not a mistake that’s a jinx)
he’s immature, why did I think I could date someone younger than I am
I’m not healed enough
he’s not healed enough
and I guess I’m probably forgetting someone

I’ve never been haunted, talking about my love life
these aren’t skeletons or ghosts
they’re living breathing human beings
some of them won’t talk to me.
maybe I am in their closets,
whispering to musty coats and clanging up against coat hangers
I’m okay if they’re ashamed of me.

and I don’t know, what’s the worst that could happen
I write a poem about every gay man (that is attracted to me) until I die?
I am too tired for that.

Author: Keeley Young writes queer literature, fantasy fiction, poetry (sometimes), and emotion-focused work that he hopes makes people feel heard and seen, even just a little. You might be familiar with his work with ScratchThat from last year, where he wrote about cuddling with robots, communing with a dead gay lover, and summoning demons.

Artist: Zoe Hawker is a multi-disciplinary student artist working with sculpture, installation, and painting. Her self-reflexive practice aims to decode the absurdities of our current culture.

Editors: Brock Scholte and Breeh Botsford