i am mapping territories, hunting down vacant lots
what lands have been burned to ash already
what small structures still stand and will they cover me
can i live there when it rains, when it’s cold
when the wolves start their hunt
is it warm enough inside that i may peel back my skin
or crack open my ribcage to find some last semblance of softness
where are those vulnerable parts of me and how do i fasten them
how do i stop firing at you
over and over and over
when the impact is always unsatisfying
it’s like pitching a marble at oatmeal
when really, i want to lob a brick through your window
pull a key over the hood of your car
the satisfaction of the drag
the splintering of the glass
i would even be satisfied by fire, its crackle
and its wildness and the way it curls the edges of papers
turns the wilderness of my heart into a vacancy
this hole in me is a fire
is a horse i can’t stop riding
a lot i can’t stop circling over and over
and i am a magpie picking through the ash
for marbles, for bricks, for keys.

MADISON CHARBONNEAU is a UMass Amherst graduate who loves 30 Rock and lowbrow movies.  She works in mental health and addiction recovery and reads tarot as a side hustle.  You can follow her on Instagram @mcharbon and on Twitter @lez_lemon

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