By Alexander Perez

you patch up
my broken promises,
like figurines,
put them up 
on a special shelf. 
the shelf is full,
weighted down. 
i wait for it to fall,
for the promises
to break all over, 
but you will stoop down
to the floor, 
to search for the shards. 
you will glue them all together
the best you can
even though 
all the old promises
will come out misshapen. 
you could sweep them instead, 
into a pile, sweep them away 
out the door,
outside our house
where i sit thinking on the stairs
what to say,
hoping you still believe 
i love you,
knowing you do not believe 
anything else is true. 
i’m carrying another promise
in my hand,
a small broken lovebird,
a sacrifice for you. 
you will take it in,
attempt to piece it back together
until you cannot hold it anymore,
your fingertips pierced 
with invisible glass slivers, 
pieces of the bird 
that can never be restored. 
when it fell from its nest,
wings too tired to fly
i heard it sing 
one last time a song 
i didn’t know was pain. 
until i heard you 
humming it to yourself
as you walked away 
putting the bird 
up on the shelf
making room for more.

Alexander Perez (he/him/his) began writing poetry in 2022 at age forty-eight. Since then he has published in several journals and has a chapbook forthcoming from Finishing Line Press entitled Immortal Jellyfish. He shares his life with a loving and supportive partner in upstate New York. For more, feel free to visit

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