too deep

It’s a feeling that settles over and underneath your skin like waves lapping on the shore. They spread inward and outward at the same time. And then a sigh, an attempted expulsion of the foreign body that holds you in a cardiac vice grip, a sigh escapes your lips that appear to be in adequate health on the surface, but have likely already turned the color of plums if your external shell reflected what you felt coursing through your neural pathways. It’s a deadening, a reluctance to feel because you’ve already experienced this cycle of death and rebirth before.

No, you’re not sick. You’re not mentally ill, though perhaps that might be a better alternative. People might understand then, or at least they might try.  No, like this…no one sees anything wrong. But you feel it at your core.


you’ll never

be able to say

that I

didn’t give you



You grab at your chest, trying to reach inside, to other dimensions invisible to the familiar spectrum. From the outside, there are no detectable anomalies, no diagnoses to be made. X-rays and CAT scans and MRIs are blind to these ailments that are felt, not seen, experienced, not observed. And for all these reasons, they discharge you and send you home. The report says they can’t find anything wrong, nothing genetic, nothing congenital, nothing.

But you know they’re wrong. You know something’s missing. You knew it all along, but you had hoped that perhaps it would be something else this time around.


line them up

like mannequins

unfeeling, unflinching, unforsaken

holding not just a piece

but a whole

the same hole


And when you arrive home and tuck yourself in, you whisper to yourself that you should’ve known all along. Everyone told you that you were predisposed to it, a chronic case of loving too deeply.

The Frailty of that Thing in Your Chest

The Frailty of that Thing in Your Chest

Humans are many things. They are bipedal. They are intelligent. They have opposable thumbs, and they even have souls. But I think that above all, humans are frail.

What’s the frailest part of a human you might ask? Is it that thing in your head that controls all the other things? Is it that thing in your back that the thing in your head uses to tell all the other things what to do?

No. In my opinion, the frailest part of a human is that thing in your chest.

Do You Remember?

Do You Remember?

“Yeah, honey. I’m just leaving now.”


Levi Anderson held his phone between his shoulder and his cheek as he navigated down the front steps of Hill Crest Church, the Minneapolis sunset in the background. He lugged a rolling crate overflowing with music books in his right hand, carried a guitar case on his back, and clutched a travel mug of lukewarm coffee in his left as he spoke in puffs of white mist.

broken iphone screens

Maybe the most painful wounds we endure are the ones we cannot see, and the longest lasting scars the ones hidden beneath the surface of our skin. Because while sticks and stones may break our bones, words are the weapons that strike the soul. But the visual modernity of our minds is completely blind to these battles, and the casualty count is starting to rise.


If only we paid as much attention to broken people as broken iPhone screens, we’d be aware of these cardiac spider web cracks reaching into the pulmonary, fracturing our breath, dividing sighs from sobs. No insurance covers these kinds of operations, because this cancer hides beyond the infrared and the ultraviolet, existing in the invisible spectrums where they can be denied out of our conscious thought until they remain only as friendly shadows that cling to us, following us wherever we might dare go. Though banishable by light, our ethereal companions persist with us, because we don’t dare ask for help until, under the weight of these ghastly wraiths, our own selves are on the verge of shattering.


Instead, we scorn any outside aid and become the epicenters of our own internal earthquakes, covering up the cracks and emerging hairline fractures with masks made up of coping mechanisms and painted on expressions in an attempt to elicit other emotions from the depths of our being instead. We hide the damage inside to comply with the de facto laws that legalize blood and broken bones while prohibiting sapped spirits or any type of tears as permissible perceptions of pain.


Is it any wonder then that attacks to the heart are the leading cause of death, both external and internal, when we hear the death of data behind the sound of shattering glass but remain deaf to the fragmenting of that frail thing within our chests? Perhaps instead of spending so much time studying two-year upgrade cycles, we’d be better off investing in increasing the integrity and resistance of our own race, because while we gain less susceptible strains of Gorilla Glass to surround our screens, we lose the ability to guard what’s truly fragile, and remains of that revolution then is a world where we value external aesthetics and surface sheen while neglecting the internal necrosis that may never be seen and dares us to die from the inside out.