I had you,
for a while, at hello
till I turned out
to be someone
you didn’t know

as the sun set
and the shadows
slipped over uncertainty,
like obscurity
was a form of security
to cover those curt corners
you’ve learned to conceal

instead of trying to heal,

concerns you’ve turned
into crutches,
crushed within stubborn fists
at the end of well worn wrists.

You can clamber
in the scullery,
clap and crash the cutlery

but you cannot drown out
all matter

not all can be washed away
with the dish water.

I cannot be mounded
having, of late,
just unfolded.

I have cracks

like the plates
you are washing,

as if weights
were dissolvable,

as if this liquid fairy
could wipe away
the weary.

I am porcelain;

chipped and torn,
trying to accept
the fragility of this form

still unfolding.

I have stains on my skin
like tattoos of my disorder,

I have shadows on my skin
that will not be kept in a corner.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly


Audio version available on Soundcloud:



17 thoughts on “CRACKS

  1. Beautiful imagery, Damien.
    “I am porcelain;

    chipped and torn,
    trying to accept
    the fragility of this form

    still unfolding.”

    The whole poem seems to be this unfolding, or mending, putting pieces together. . .finding new shapes. . .

    • Thank you Merril. Seriously, my therapy sessions are now becoming my poetry inspirations. I am unraveling and unfolding and letting all these pieces fall to the floor so they can meet each other and hopefully make sense together. I am not sure which is helping the most, therapy or poetry, I am going for both! 🤗

    • Thank you Alison. This piece was more about slipping out of the skin of who people supposed me to be and just laying it all bare. You end up playing different parts of yourself with different people throughout your life and I am trying to tie all the parts together and say voila; This is who I am, in total, buoyant and broken, all at the same time. No more one or the other but all together. It can be unsettling for others to see you in a different light, to see you have other sides they hadn’t noticed.
      Hope you are well and staying far from that not so comfortable chair!! 🤗

      • That’s so interesting. I was just asked to take the Myers-Briggs personality test and with each question you have to pick which phrase or idea is most like you. The difficulty was just what you said, I have my self persona and I have a persona others assume. I also have a work persona and a play persona. It was difficult to answer some of the questions but a great exercise. Amazing poem. Will you remember me when you’re famous?🤩

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