“shattered,” a poem by Carina Solis

Carina Solis


it’s like we’re flickering, burst lamplights 
smirking in the dark. faces gaunt, we lounge 
on a half-shaded stairway, the moon and its smile 
hanging over our emptiness, crooked as burnt cigarettes. 
we pant smoke into the horizon and watch haze  
cut into our skin: all we taste is desperation. 
in the play of our lives, the night is a blackened man 
with lips like a butter knife, ready to gouge our sharp bones 
and every paltry breath. we only kiss him to hate ourselves more. 
if we are going to be empty, let’s be empty together,
carved and bent like magnolia buds in between sidewalk cracks
—we’ll go ahead and break, the flowers in us withering as if we are 
only living to die. and, voices hushed in the dark,
we can’t hear our hearts whispering let me go.

Carina Solis is a sixteen-year-old writer living in Georgia. She has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, The National Poetry Quarterly, The New York Times, and others, and her work appears in Gone Lawn, Wrongdoing Magazine, HAD, and elsewhere. Currently, she serves as a Senior Editor at Polyphony Lit, and a General Editor at the Origami Review. Find more of her work on her website carinasolis.carrd.co or on her Twitter @carinasol_.

Check out HFR’s book catalog, publicity list, submission manager, and buy merch from our Spring store. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube.