Fragile Things

Hardscrabble life
Taste the dust and the
poverty in your mouth
Coat your lips with its grime
and hope that it will
please the monster at the end 
of your tongue’s trail 
The one that cannot be denied -
yet can never be satisfied.
So why you even try 
bemuses me, one without
a monster.

You smear your lips with red,

chap your cheeks with pink and
tug on my skirt with pretty eyes,
saying with a childish stutter
“I’m going to work with my mother”
and you leave to the streets 
of red lights, unhesitatingly.

Am I the only one who sees you?

Skeletons that form like twigs and keys

fragile things that bend and break
fragile things that can’t last the night
or fight the cold or say no to pain

Fragile things with no shadows –

No one will ever see them.


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