SPOTLIGHT: Heartbreak Inferno by Emily Kurc


how do i know if i’m not straight / how to get over someone you never dated / what is compulsory heterosexuality / am i bisexual / how do i know if i’m faking attraction towards someone / can you even fake something like that? / what to do if no label feels right for me / how to sleep better at night


I loved you in
every shade of red

and now each autumn

I’m convinced the trees
are bleeding.

I loved you softly
because my grandmother
taught me that love was
a delicate thing, yet
you took these
matches and ignited



It feels like I’m
buried alive.
The sun peeks itself through
tiny crevices where the soil
never quite meets and the
warmth tickles my skin.
Occasionally, the sun is
eclipsed by the body of
a weeping human. Their tears
make the soil harden and crust
like soft craters.
They left me flowers, but the
petals will soon shrivel and break
into brown crisps by next week.
I wish I could thank them.


You don’t know who I am anymore / My cells are regenerating / and eventually / they will die off until / none of me / has touched you / any longer.

I sold my car three years ago / and I wear glasses now / and I have grown so far / from the person you once knew / I remember being her / seventeen and in love / drunk on attention and deceit / scared to death / that one day, you’d change your mind / about me.

It’s been years of / twisted knives and yearning / of a longing heart / and a burning / a lifetime’s worth of confessional / that I wonder if you have the guts / to read.


frozen dinners, reading romance novels in
your local coffee shop and trying to flirt and
failing miserably. All you ever wanted to do
was to stop the bleeding. Questioning your
sexuality. And your sanity. Home is realizing
that your hometown never really felt like
comfort at all, but you stayed because it
was familiar and familiar was tolerable.
Home is revisiting the places you felt
loved and used and where you gave your
heart and had it stomped on. Home is
dancing with the ghosts in your childhood
closet at 3:35 in the morning because you’re
too delirious to think straight. Home is
trying to convince yourself that you can
always reinvent yourself, but you end up
running away from something rather than
to something. Home is fighting with your
inner child. Home is realizing that some of
the damage is irreversible. Home in your
twenties is rage and jealousy because
your Facebook feed is filled with
proposals and baby announcements.

Home is an empty space.


Three nights after you broke up with me, you called me to say that you slept with someone else. You said you were sorry for what you did but you did it because you had to. I imagined her smelling like fresh cotton and rose petals and I thought about her scent lingering on your dorm room pillow long after she left. I thought about your body on top of hers and if you thought about me while you were inside of her. Did you almost say my name? Did it dance on the tip of your tongue and taste like poison when you forced it back in?


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