I am seven years old.

Hands clenched at my sides,

Biting down until my teeth should shatter.

Striking flint against each syllable,

Blades in sharp vowels,

Consonants like blunt, heavy stones

Aimed for the back of your soft head.

But you don't—

Clockwork hands and painted smile—


Each antidotal, anecdotal reprimand—


My lips part to take the cup,

A flutter of panicked breath at the suffocation,

But you can't—

Your laughter is that thin line

Between forgivable and unbearable.

You are wrong.

And you'll never—


Won't you just—

Stop talking. Please.



I want to be the one

With the power to

Walk away.)

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