So, the will still bends
Beyond the sentimental
And you, still
Wielding the fissured, the fragmented, 
The crumbling under and cracking apart.
Never were you glued together entirely, veined instead
Like great great grandmother’s vase, willed down 
On promises to not be broken
But webbed in hairline fractures still. I cannot assemble 
The pieces of you together, 
Before another meandering chasm sprouts from 
The creases in your palms. 
All the revelations were late to arrive.
Even when you have been the understory, 
And sworn away rigidity, 
And turned to the same wind 
That teaches saplings to contort and carry their own weight,
The only surviving softness lies
In your oil spill irises,
Still tracing skeleton trees, wide as millenia, immortalized in embrace, 
Immortalized until they are not.

Pauline Bissell ’25 is a staff writer

Tiia McKinney ’25 is a staff writer