First Five Heartbreaks

My first heartbreak I heard through a wall in a southern California suburb, after my father the sailor retired, after we thought we’d settled down, after he discovered the alcoholic nurse in Bethesda was easy, and living with his family every day was hard.

Heartbreaks 2 through 4 were hormonal (a half-truth); I can’t remember their names (a lie); I never
actually knew them (the truth).

Heartbreak 5 I brought on myself. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

You stand here, thumb in your belt loop, wearing doom like face paint.

I want to stop counting, right now.

Serene Vannoy‘s poems have been published in the U.S. and Canada in such journals as Gertrude and carte blanche.

Photo Credit: Rebecca

17 Responses to “First Five Heartbreaks”

  1. jenna scheiner says:

    Jenna Scheiner


    My first heartbreak was expected. All i wanted was what any other 16 year old girls wants, to be noticed but unfortunately that desperation blinded me. After 5 months of never being taken on a date or taken for a ride or even a walk, later rather than sooner i found out the entire time he was cheating on me with multiple different girls. In that moment i blamed myself, feeling as if i wasn’t good enough and that i was the problem. Looking back I now realize that not every boy is boyfriend material and there is not anything i could have done to prevent that from happening.

  2. Teddy Kimathi says:

    I loved this! List literature are one of my favorite!

  3. Janice says:

    Wonderful and fun to read. I did not think this vague. As in the last sentence- meaning “I keep doing this to myself, you think I would learn”

  4. Kayte CookWatts says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

  5. Tidenek Haileselassie says:

    This is beautiful and well-said.

  6. Tega says:

    This is wonderfully witty. Although I don’t seem to fully understand what the fourth paragraph is trying to say; clarity is needed in that angle.

  7. JL says:

    This was incredible. It took my breath away.

  8. kazi says:

    It’s really good but difficult as well.may be I lack that very quality to understand it easily.whatsoever it’s good.liked it very much.

  9. JRedgate says:

    I’ve drafted ten different comments but none of them are good enough. I can’t stop looking at this – it’s the best thing I’ve read online in months. Thanks.

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