“Breaking” by Mary Lambeth Moore

“Forensic Foraging #2” by William C. Crawford

It starts at birth,

our crowning heads

parting the red seas,

we tear and are torn,

the cord cut or bitten with

or without ceremony.

Mostly we survive

to be broken

and broken again:

Skeins of skin opened like fruit,

palimpsests beneath scraped knees,

bones inevitably sacrificed

to gravity and lapses,

mostly healed but with shame,

knowing what we failed to stop.

Bones trussed and mended;

broken spirits, broken trust.

We break bread

and in the same breath break

confidences, turning secrets

into headlines while ignoring

our own breakdowns ahead,

like the rogue car engine

suddenly silent and stubborn

or the bomb blasting the marketplace,

or the quick melting of the world.

Stop. You can hear it.

Everywhere the splintering ice.

Mary Lambeth Moore is a novelist (Sleeping with Patty Hearst) and former fiction editor for Carolina Wren Press, now Blair. Most recently her short fiction has appeared in the Broad River Review. She is a senior writer for Self-Help in Durham, NC, a community development lender working for economic, social and environmental justice. This is her first published poem. www.marylambethmoore.com