captivating

A Skeleton of Letters

You must be strong,
for them.

You have pockmarks down the inside of your arms,
like blue ink tracing blue veins down the trails of your
self-harm.

You didn’t make a promise for nobody. You tell yourself
that at night, but it stopped being so funny when you fell
for the lies that seemed right, the ones that told you: “Hey.
There’s something left for you to sell.”

Sell yourself for dimes and quarters because it’s better to
be the pestle than the mortar.

You must be strong,
and you tell yourself this crouching in the dry bathtub,
remembering their touch and their malevolent backrub,
capricious, perfidious, you hope they have found a shackled love
to prove them wrong.

You have pockmarks down the inside of your arms,
like blue steel turning you cold down the footpaths of
self-harm.

Vicious, prestigious, you breathe with a mackled lung
and chickenpox scars…

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