Modern Sins


United States
39° 58' 46.2864" N, 75° 8' 44.8152" W

i. Gluttony
She hides
Before the hardest hit
Knocks her down.
She makes sure
They'll never find her
Amid crumbling debris,
Rusting iron,
Rotting walls
That smell of spray paint
And make her sick.
But not sicker
Than her hand-rolled friends.
She breaks cheap stilettos
And tears her last good dress
As she stumbles into the grotto,
The hellhole she's cornered in,
To risk one last breath
(And it may very well be her last;
She risks it with every drag)
On a stale

ii. Lust
He's cancelled every call
That hasn't been from her.
He's rejected every gift
That hasn't touched her hands.
He's ready to go deaf
If every song reminds him like this.
He's unplugged every bulb and screen
Because he can't stand to look at a face
That isn't hers.
He hasn't stepped out of the house
Since last week.
If the pavement doesn't deserve to be kissed
Since it hasn't met her feet,
It cannot be walked on by him.
He sits on the ground
Because every piece of furniture
Has been graced by her body.
He sleeps in the kitchen
Because his bed still smells of her.
He's cursed every tear that's fallen
Because they must glide down the cheeks
That she caressed
Only 184 hours ago.

He's been counting.

iii. Sloth
He used to be the greatest
Of them all.
He would stand at his podium
And deliver the words
That would hypnotize them all.
His followers were the ones
With gold watches and cufflinks,
Slinky dresses and shoes
Worth more than he was.
His lovers were liquid
(best served with elegant meats
but preferred by him
straight from the bottle)
And shut inside wood
That smelled of cork and grapes.
The made-up statues and stuffed suits
Loved him for his words,
However slurred they became
His cellar-dwelling sweethearts
Slowed his success,
Though he paid little notice.
He began waking less
And forgetting his speech.
The public forgot about their hero
And found other synthetic saviors.
Their hero
Seeped down to nothing
But a motionless cavity,
Lying in his own nonsense
And empty bottles.

iv. Wrath
She was supposed to graduate
At the top of her class.
Full ride all four years,
A beautiful mind
That matched her body.
A slip of the tongue
Was all it took to tear her apart.
She loaded the barrel
And jammed it against her head;
She relished the feeling
Of cold metal biting her skin.
The swarm had led her to believe
That it was all she deserved
To be a mess.
The swarm had led her
To slowly lose herself
In what she'd begun to believe.

It was the shot heard round the world
That nobody seemed to listen to.

v. Pride
The Queen looks at her reflection.
Pouting lips,
Eyes outlined so thickly
She looks like she's lost sleep
For days,
Foundation powdered on
(she had to steal it from her mother;
she dares not tell anybody)
Until it cakes her skin,
A taut, flat stomach
That she's only made that way
By sucking in,
A backside she's pulled her skirt tight over,
And breasts to match
With a tissue-paper tee.
The Queen knows she beautiful
Because her subjects say so.
Because television says so.
Because the magazine
She just has to work for some day
Tells her that what she's made herself into
Is the epitome of sex.
She knows not that she's built herself up
On a pedestal of sand.

vi. Greed
He's sprawled on the couch;
Women around him,
Pockets and wallets thick with money,
Expensive, strong drinks
Littering the table before him.
Heavy bass
Thumps around the room,
Making it almost shake
And stabbing into his subconscious
That this isn't right.
He has an alimony to pay
And is tossing the money
At clubs and bars.
He has a wife—
Had a wife.
Shaking away the thought,
He palms the girl closest to him.
He can forget.
He can.
…He can.

vii. Envy
Her stare is not green,
Nor are her feelings
As she sees every single thing
Wrong with her
Highlighted by passing posters,
And mindless vomit
From the mouth of every talking head
Who exalts herself above the rest.
No, her stare is blank.
She sees
But does not watch.
She hears,
But does not listen.
She resolves not to drown
In the mindless sea
Of all that is commercial.
She knows
That her faults are not faults.
They are imperfections
That make her who she is.
She doesn't need the latest fix
To love herself,
Or find somebody
To love her as well.

Doesn’t she?


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