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By Allyson Jeffredo

My skin revolts at the flame
of saying things I shouldn’t have,
of falling into a guise too loose
& too tight to handle

He talks as if he swallowed leaves
the crunchy sound of ego
sprawled on the tile, punch me, please,
but I know better
when I blast back a cannon, you should’ve
done what you said you would,
a misfire,
I should’ve known better

I’m hit with debris,
scorched cheeks, I
should’ve known better,
what’s the phrase, “bite your cheek,
let your lips bleed,” means silence,
policing, let yourself tire &
the fluorescents burn a reminder,
I should’ve known better,

but my words don’t, they slip through
my black teeth like water
off a table, rolling & tossing itself
suicidal to land
in warm splatter

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