“Mad World” by Mackenzie Tatananni

Mackenzie Tatananni (age 13)


Get up, get up.

Let the sunlight fill your throat, your eyes, swim under your skin

Unless it’s storming. Then eat those clouds.

Your eyes, streaky as fallen stars, glassy bruises that have just begun to melt away
Your arms, willow branches, have been wind-whipped to the point of breaking

Be very careful, or you might just fall apart.

The other girls’ lives are no more than hologram hearts and smiley-face stickers,
Breathing candy-colored questions like they want to eat each other up.

Turn away now and don’t look back.

Curl that smirk into the palm of your hand like it’s all over for them
Like everything’s done for the sad, giggly girls who are oh-so breakable

They actually want to be shattered.

Try not to cave in now
The moon’s sweeter than sin and you belong out underneath it

from 2015 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Mackenzie Tatananni: “Being able to create images through my words is the coolest thing in the world. There’s no other feeling like the one you get when someone says they’ve gotten chills from reading your work.”

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