peripheral version

words like taking hits,
the kick in the back of
throats leave inhaling marks,

digestive syllables
rolling on tongues,
exhaling the long,
translucent breath

that adds insult to
chains of people
trapped between
holding and exhaling,

cancerous words
trekking through lips,
gasping for air,
satiated by silence

peripheral versions
strengthened by
hindsight, swallowing
ammunition whole