i hollow out my mouth with
the bluntness of my tongue; eventually
there is nothing left. i am mute.
incapable of kisses, i mutate my hands
into puckered lips and place them
on your forehead, like an autistic child.
and like that child, i am perturbed,
slightly bemused, slightly terrified;
cornered, i think i am: cornered.
i lash out, rising and twisting my body -
that is withered - to look bigger,
stronger, healthier... mightier.
though, no, i am weak & fragile &
i raise my babyfists into the air &
whimper constantly. translate my thoughts,
they are in fever, you are in winter rain.

my mind - like the soliloquy of
cigarette smoke - diminishes over time,
until i am left dumb, unable to speak
as i furrow my brow and calculate
the algorithmic formulas in my head. my hand
is numb and cannot hold the pencil; but
my answer is right, yet they will never know.

self-pity is the new vogue (and i am always
ohso haute couture); i wear it like my skin &
i tear it like a toolong skirt. ragged like lace and
quickly worn out (but always so veryvery pretty).
my eyelashes are jealous of that girls' over there,
hers are a fair red-blonde, while mine are
toolong, toothick, and toodark. they curve outward
desperate for escape. they weigh like rocks,
like gaudy graduation tassels. i find them overrated.

i rub my thighs until the bruises
are overtaken by raw & flaking skin.
my cheeks are burning from the acid
of his kisses. my tears infect the sores.
and i try to recall the safe alternatives
my therapist and i talked about but i
can't remember them till after i am
vanilla and cherry ribbons. again,
i am rendered dumb, splayed on
linoleum bathroom floors.
i hug the toilet to keep from slipping, because
yes, yes, the world is tilting under my weight.