Once pain blew me up

into a swollen balloon,

I tried to avoid all

points & pricks &

sharp tongues.


But they cut



Like when my friend—

a songwriter

whose brother

killed himself—

warned me,


don’t say anything



I squealed into the ether,

then disappeared.


Maybe you saw me

on the sidewalk—

busted blue rubber

with a ribbon tail.


Plastered to the concrete

by foot traffic.


Waiting for the next big rain

to wash what’s left away.