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a letter to my mother (I)

dear ma,

when you hold my face

with a look of dismay,

in your hands and give it a

“not pretty enough” brand,

it hurts.

it hurts like ingesting poison:

like every nerve,

every capillary,

every pipe,

every bronchi inside of me

is on fire,

is sizzling.

sticks and stones

don’t break my bones ma,

it’s your words that

kill me through.

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