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pretty.

he flicks the ashen remains of his cigarette
right into the forever of a gray night,
he’s got a cracked tooth,
‘can see it when his lips hint of a smile,
like they’re doin’ right now.
something that looks a bit like satisfaction,
rests easy on his face.
hands rest against his belt,
like he was born with one hand on his gun
the other on his hip.
the moon’s giving off just enough light,
he can see her once pretty face turning blue.
she looks at him, but her eyes don’t really see
anything.
except maybe a white light,
or just darkness.
depends on what a person believes comes next.
he tilts his head,
listens to her cough, vomit, choke
there’s a needle still strapped to her arm,
but he just watches.
shame, she might’ve been been pretty
if she wasn’t pretty messed up.
shame, she might’ve been someone
if she wasn’t someone who chose drugs
over her own son, from someone’s son.
shame, she would’ve been pretty,
forever,
if she wasn’t so pretty then,
if she wasn’t pretty vulnerable for a five year old,
if she wasn’t pretty depressed for a teenager,
if she wasn’t pretty lonely as a young woman.
if she wasn’t so pretty then,
she could’ve been someone…else.
if he would take a good look,
look at her eyes, clouding over like the moon
that’s watching over them,
maybe he’d see the blue eyes of a little girl,
could be his little girl,
if he had a little girl,
he’s just got boys.
so maybe that’s why he can’t see her
except through the eye of a needle.
he could have saved her life.
maybe he could have changed her life,
but he believes that she made a choice.
he believes she chose this life –
nothing could change his mind.
there’s a siren somewhere in the background,
theme music for a b-movie ending,
she’ll be happy now, right –
she can shoot up with Jesus,
maybe he’ll save her.
maybe if she makes it to Heaven.
seems like she’s already been to Hell.
be free, little bird, a shadow whispers.
he shakes his head at the shell of her,
here comes the ambulance,
snapping on blue gloves –
nitrile, not latex.
it’s too late to take it away,
but they do anyway.
bagged.
tagged.
evidence.
of another overdose.
they will carry his burden for him,
the one he refuses to take part of.
they know he could have saved her.
but the magic potion costs too much
and of course, she deserved it.
just like she did when she was five.
and seventeen.
and twenty-three.
because she was too pretty,
and then pretty fucked up.
so he watches them zip her up,
in a black bag.
he could have saved her.

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wolves.

Logically, rationally – she is sound
Half of her brain understands logic
It listens to reason,
It rationalizes quite well.
But.
The.
Other.
Half.
Is.
Chaos.
It is churning,
ocean waves in a hurricane,
tornado on a Kansas plain.
Fire waiting for oxygen;
a backdraft waiting to happen.
There is no reason or logic;
nothing even remotely rational
on the other half of her brain.
It is creeping blackness,
shards of shadows,
a hundred spider webs,
sticky and tangling.
Cold, calculating, chaotic
cruel, relentless, chasmic.
It is this side that creates
distance and disdain,
hate, void, and pain.
Chess moves, scrabble words,
meditation and yoga,
repetition, repetition, repetition,
Until she can reason with demons,
and rationalize with the devil.

 

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Self.

Fingernails up an arm,
down an arm.
red lines, then nothing.
Head banging into hands,
not so hard as to damage,
but to say stupid, stupid, stupid.
A brain that won’t work right,
a mind that won’t stop,
words that circle, in circles.
Breathing is an art,
regret is a black mark,
panic is the cause.
Control is the craving,
an addiction, but not quite.
You can’t cure an addiction.
Arms hug me tight –
You are okay and fine
Wait, those arms are mine.

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tendrils.

He’s like an angry lover
with his hands around her throat
and his whispers in her ear.
She can feel him touching
all her secret places –
her heart
her soul
her thoughts
He’s inside her,
like the devil he is.
He finds the cracks
in her heart and rips
and rips until she can’t
find enough pieces
to make half of a whole.
He tries to suffocate her
in crowded rooms
and it’s so hard to walk
across the parking lot
when he’s dragging her down
like a ball and chain
around her neck.
No one sees.
No one notices.
She’d scream but he’s got
his hand over her mouth
and he forces her words away.
They can’t see him,
they can’t feel him.
But he’s there all the same.
She can hear him laugh,
when she tries to escape.
When she tries to be stronger
bigger
better.
One day he’ll kill her
If she doesn’t escape.
If he doesn’t let her go.
If she can’t shake him –
and she’ll have to do it alone
because no one sees
no one notices
no one.