Sweetness stings my tongue and

they call it a poison,


but I’ve given worse things

the pleasure of reaching my lips.


Everyday before lunch I watch

as smoke rings circle

her troubled face like halos


and I know she’s never

committed sin.


You wouldn’t be wasting your time

feeling guilty if you had seen


the effects of real poison.


Poison that spills

across its own creation,

waiting while she withers.


I’ve seen her cower

from its resentment

even when it’s already been

shot into her veins.


I see it showing through her

pale skin like sepsis


and I can only imagine

the bruises within her when

I see her flinch.


Yesterday she told me she hadn’t been

to school in weeks

and I cried.


I held out my hand for her.

She didn’t reply.


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