by anonymous //

my ex-girlfriend told me
she wanted us to get back together.

how do i tell her i
didn’t just survive the breakup,
i thrived?

i didn’t grieve 
because i wasn’t experiencing a loss,
i didn’t cry
because there was nothing to be sad about;
i found great friends and a brand new job
i started studying for tests (and acing them)
i ate alongside my classmates (and enjoyed it)
i finally felt free (of her)

her, on the other hand,
she cried
every day,
all over her finsta
about how much she
loved me and
missed me and
hated me and
loved me;

how could she not?

i was the one who broke her heart.

i was the bad guy,
i was the one who said
“we need a break”

even though this is a breakup poem
and breakup poems are supposed to be written by the victim.

we were best friends first,
(as they always are)
the ones who unfailingly
texted “good morning” and “good night”
asked each other if our days went well
and comforted each other when they did not

we were an epic love story,
all of our friends were jealous
and they admired
us. we were going to last

until one day
in the middle of the summer
i woke up
feeling nothing for her
and the next day
and the next day
and the next

until i couldn’t just ignore it anymore,
it couldn’t just be something
in the back of my mind
pushed deep down because
i wanted us to remain:
in love?

we tried to remain best friends,
because how could you live without your best friend when
breaking up with your girlfriend?
but there’s something so wrong about
shit-talking your ex to your best friend
when your best friend is your ex,
and the boundaries between
girlfriend and
bestfriend had
blurred so much they were
impossible to untangle.

we were best friends first
until ‘we’ became ‘me’ and ‘her’
and ‘us’ became a chore because
‘we’ overstayed its welcome
and it was impossible to remain ‘best’ or ‘friends’ anymore, so

today, when 
my ex-girlfriend said
she wanted to get back together with me

i had to accept my fate
as the villain in our epic.

A Sad Girl’s Love Song

by Leio Koga //

Slyvia Plath left a literary legacy behind her, although her story is quite the tragedy. Plath was a brilliant student but struggled with severe mental illnesses from a young age. By the time she was 30, Plath was well-known in the literary community. She was known for her confessional style of writing and poetry; her pieces were described to intensely portray her mental anguish, volatile emotional state, troubled marriage, poor self-image, and unresolved conflict with her parents. Plath wrote some of her most famous pieces, including, “Daddy,” “The Bell Jar,” and “The Colossus,” during the worst mental state of her life. She fell into a deep depression and committed suicide when she was only 31. 

I was exposed to the power of Plath’s words when I first read “Mad Girl’s Love Song” during my senior year of high school. This poem is about someone who is going through heartbreak and suffering from mental health issues. The poem, though very abstract, clearly depicts the dangers of living within one’s mind all the time, especially when one’s thoughts are clouded by heartbreak and pain. Plath draws on the idea of how romance is not romantic at all. The way Plath writes, love is empty, unfulfilling, and possibly, all in one’s head. While she wrote this poem when she was just 20 years old, I could clearly see her internal, emotional turbulence of heartbreak and unrequited love. I wanted to recreate this poem as a reflection of the anguish and pure sadness that her words made me feel. 

A Sad Girl’s Love Song

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead

Trapped in a vision of the infinite ocean

The vicious waves of your love I tread 

The breeze whispers like a lover, but I was only mislead 

I am the waves undeniably drawn back into your deep, perilous sea 

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead 

Your anger is a storm—fast but calamitous— I always dread

Each time I mend my broken pieces just for your disaster to strike me again 

And leave my soul in shreds

God topples from the sky, hell’s waves rise and crash, and I hang on by a thread

But the raft tips over and I thrash, sob, curse your name  

I wish I made you up inside my head 

I fell for the way your surface sparkled, but instead

Your love was the world of secrecy underneath it 

Chained to an anchor, darkness consumed me whole but still, for you, my heart bled 

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead

Trapped in a vision of the infinite ocean 

And at the bottom is where you are, on a throne created from my tears of pain  

I wish I made you up inside my head