Empty Suitcases and Broken Dreams

By: Chloe Lounds

Poetry, 2019

Empty Suitcases and Broken Dreams

I drove around for months with this glass vase in my trunk.

Now anyone in their right mind would have taken it out and placed it somewhere safe, somewhere where it wouldn’t be broken.

But I left it there, sliding around in the back of my car – where it occasionally made an alarming knocking sound.

One day I rearranged my trunk, added some new items – a bag full of old clothes that no longer matched my personal fashion sense and an empty suitcase that once had my dreams and ambitions neatly packed inside.

It turns out that these additions were disastrous for the vase.

It slammed into the suitcase and shattered while I was driving home – no protection offered from my shabby wardrobe.

Startled, I realized that I am very much like this vase:

Along for the ride


Impacted greatly by the things surrounding me

And ready to break at any given moment.


Most importantly, I understood that even in my brokenness, I am beautiful.

And I can rely on external sources.

For a broken vase remains a broken vase unless an individual with a glue bottle cares enough.   



I want to explain myself

But I think about trying

Opening up

And I get this knot in my stomach

I begin to feel like this problem no one asked for

Like my existence is some sort of mistake

Because no matter the explanation, I have still done what I have done

And the actions of a broken person are never going to be whole


Anxiety, BPD, Depression: In No Particular Order

Mental illness is a thief

No petty thief at that, but a burglar

Breaking things with no regard for the damages done. Shattering the door to my house – my body - trespassing on the property of my mind.

Stealing possessions that do not belong to it. That is MY self-worth, MY peace of mind, MY ability to function and be the kind of human that society expects me to be.

They are criminals

But I have the handcuffs and I know your identities

And it is time to change things up

It is no longer I who will be the prisoner