We spend our lives breaking ourselves.
Cut the cord, clip the foreskin, needle
ink, drink, smoke, poison livers to reduce the stress
of break-back work, this mess of tangled lovers
tangled DNA strands all wound up until they burst out of you in
newborn perfection
and you hope,
she’ll always stay that way.

Now the doctors say it’s depression, but
I call it post partum perfection.
Still, they toss scripts at me like torn insect wings,
And I think,
This feels like a sweaty palmed third grade love note,
pharmacists reach behind my back every 30 days
to wind my key,
This feels like a fight
with a child proof cap, bitter polymers under my tongue,
the breath of a sandman I might have imagined,
but this isn’t what hope feels like.

This isn’t
a mistake
This isn’t
a false positive
White doves, birthmarks, clear sky
This isn’t a sign.

This feels like guilty pleasure,
A one night stand with a wedding ring on
This feels like the diamond,
digging into your palm
but this isn’t what hope feels like.

There must be 20 men here crazier than I.
They tell me stories of life on the outside:
meeting new people without shaking,
taking walks at night.

When I study their faces for tells they fade
into the washed walls like little white lies.
I run into the hall screaming for a nurse
but all I hear is the sound of a mop
sanitizing my footsteps as I walk
And I know that hell is hospital white.
To compare your soul to something so clean would drive any man insane.
So I try to be kind, I apologize for being so sorry so often
but if I’m met at death by a murderer clutching rosary beads,
then this isn’t what hope feels like.

This isn’t any sort of trust or luck,
This isn’t a consolation prize.
Or an electric mockingbird mix-tape
siphoning off responsibilities I still want
But my voice gets caught on the way to telling you to st
My voice gets caught on the way to telling you to
My voice gets caught on the way to telling you to stop
looking at me like that.

Maybe hope is a second chance on the third rail
or where shadows forget to fall
and we walk in step with something lighter than ourselves

Hearts stop long after the lungs stop breathing,
long after angels fall like footsteps or
acid rain

This isn’t the poison left on Juliet’s lips
This isn’t Snow White’s kiss
This isn’t the dancing slipper worn down from flirting
with disaster all night and this isn’t,

what

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