because, there is gold

by Melissa Boles

I once told someone I was broken.


you’re not broken, she said, but didn’t offer an alternative.


for there is no alternative. there is broken and not broken.


in pieces and whole.


and so I pretended I was not broken.


that my world did not fall to pieces before puberty


that the words that were hissed at me in the darkness were never said


that I never feared anyone or wished my body was different or thought about death


I pretended I never ever ever thought about death


when instead, I always



think about death


about a world that is better


without me in it


I saw therapists


who made me say I had issues or problems


until I finally said I feel broken


and one of them said tell me more about that


they told me about this Japanese art


and I am not Japanese

or connected to Japan


but I had never heard anything more beautiful


than Kintsugi, where you put pieces of broken pottery back together


with gold




and I decided that instead of pretending I wasn’t broken


I would gather the broken pieces, hold them together


and heal them with gold


and I think about death

and I wish I was different


and I love exactly who I am

because even in the broken


even amongst the things I don’t like about me

and others don’t like about me


the things that make me feel I will be


unloved and

alone and




I remember that


because I am cracked and broken


I am also laced with gold

Melissa Boles (she/her) is a Salt Lake City-based writer and an impatient optimist who believes that storytelling is humanity’s most incredible miracle. Her chapbook, We Love in Small Moments, was published with ELJ Editions (2021), and her short plays, “Pomegranate Juice” and “Beau,” debuted at the Oregon One-Act Festival in May 2021. You can find her other work at, and you can always find her on Twitter, talking about writing, mental health, and Law & Order: SVU, at @melloftheball.

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