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My poems die at the root

at stem and bloom.

I could carry them to mass on

tops of wreaths and sing funeral lullabies.

My memories circle as melodies

around the same place, a face

That does not escape because

it hides in my eyes. I bite

it between my lips, and

I breathe it within my lungs.

I am its mirror, its reincarnation

The lines, the rhymes,

make another circle

back to the cloak, back

to the demon that encapsulates

nightmares. It is my face

long dead, it resurrects

itself in my belly, again

and again. It turns around.

I wish I could call it ugly

but beauty resides with

those who hold it within their


My fingers were chopped off at birth

so I cannot touch the petal or

the thorn. My eyes were

plucked free by roosters

with long red combs and plumes

But they still call me beautiful

As they mount the hills

of my blind sided haunch.

This affectation is for the

lost words, the runaway

letters. The gagged voice.

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