Secondhand Broke

Kara Goughnour

120 words
No content warnings

There’s always something that will take you
to the doorstep of your trauma; this songbird
sounds like every other songbird,
sounds like the songbird outside my mother’s house.
Me, bicycle-racing through the cold
fog-breath of morning.
Me, sliding into gravel driveway.
Imagine my kneecaps a steel cow stop, bright rust
bleeding. Imagine every part of me a harder part of me,
or, better, imagine me, after all this, still being soft.
I’m not searching
through the wreckage anymore.
I’m not waiting
for some great gust of wind
to blow this way.
Thunder strikes in some cornfield
down the street and I’m not frightened
of you or any other harsh light
striking down. Regret is a town
I don’t visit anymore.


Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They received their Bachelor’s Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. They are the author of "Mixed Tapes," forthcoming in the Ghost City Press Summer 2019 Micro-Chap Series. They are the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and have work published or forthcoming in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Third Point Press, and over thirty-five others. Follow them on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read their collected and exclusive works at