And My Heart Shattered

Madeline Burnah

Comparison follows my best friend around like a cat
that she doesn't own but she can't get rid of.
it climbs onto her shoulder and hisses into her ear
it clings to her with claws that she can’t shake away
That I can't pull off of her no matter how hard I try,
and I try

We lay together on the cold, white blanket called snow
the salty water running down her face mingling

We watch lazy grey clouds as they slink across the sky
and my best friend tells me she wishes she wasn't alive
to see everyone around her prettier, smarter, better

I turn towards her and see comparison laying on her chest, shivering
in the cold, weighing as much as
every mistake she ever made

I tell my best friend about the tears I would cry
if anything happened to her and I tell her
I would switch our places if I could

My best friend turns her head so that I am able to look
into her eyes overflowing with sadness that could fill
a fourth of the ocean.

She smiles as bitter as the
frostbite which stains her lips

and with fingers
red from the cold yet
red as a dying fires flame

she strokes its toxic fur
and comparison purrs

Madeline Burnah is 15 years old, but by May 2023, she'll be 16. She lives in Woodland Hills, Utah.

"Cat" by Lilithis is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!