Twelve

My mother stopped saying I’d meet a nice boy once I became one.

My father stopped smiling once the sun glared

in my fangs like a prism window to god’s tongue.

I only lied once about being in love and it’s when

she travelled for two days and sat on my floor,

I felt barometers drop to their knees

and I should have said, “I could love you someday

but you have to pass some literacy exams;

I’ve got an ancient text scrambled beneath my ribcage

and we need to see if your stone is Rosetta or first-cast.”

She took a plane back and gets sick when she reads these poems,

I hear.

Still think this is funny?

Hear them all groan under the weight of words at night.

Are you reading this too,

knowing I am a phantom limb?

I worshiped you like the moon, you deemed me

timely and appropriate for mutilation.

Leave your lovers better off than they were when you found them,

I etched into the arms of every one,

pick up the garbage they left behind in my

pelvic muscles

and charred ash under my eyes.

I have been laughing for no reason,

and it has been eight months since I didn’t care to die.

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