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Some Nights Are Better ForgottenLet me slam into the linoleum
allow the tiled wall to leave lines behind
that will blossom into bruises on my skin.
I want to feel your five-fingered strikes
caress my cheekbones like the sick love story
of disaster and self-destruction I've created
by downing one too many drinks.
It's a relief to be marred
with a mark made by a hand
other than my own.
I don't think I ever admitted to you
how your handprint hovered on my skin
in sickening harlequin and hunter greens
I imagined it appropriate to mask it with my make-up
and use foundation to build my smiles in the morning.
weak bones and sleep-starved eyeshe made wishes on gunshots
and sent out empty prayers to an empty sky
and sometimes, while he slept
[a vicious, taunting, halfway-sort-of-not-really-asleep-at-all sleep]
his fists would clutch at air,
and his swollen strawberry lips would twist and
and his too-young, too-pale face would
grimace and scrunch
and when he cried out,
the babies in the next room would start crying too.
eventually the shadows under his eyes got
that they swallowed him up
and his arms got scarred and broken from all the times
he'd checked to see if his heart was still beating
and he stopped having nightmares because he
stopped chasing sleep;
he spent his nights awake,
staring up at the empty sky,
tuning out the gunshots and keeping his prayers to himself.
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