Cigarette butt, red
blood
not lipstick.

Crouch on the curb,
at 3 AM,
flick sparks
at the ground,
like God.

Leaves bristle
by my bare feet,
shoving past
pushed by wind;
that external violence.

By virtue of hundreds
of dead geese,
your jacket
keeps me warm.

That,
and blood,
dripping down my heart.
It doesn’t work anyway,
can’t feel a goddamn thing.

Speak in tongues,
I don’t listen.
Words, a blizzard
blurring by,
soothing like a lullaby.

You sketch me,
asleep
but I never am.

You sleep,
curled like a child,
in the icy embrace
of my silence.

You like me to be quiet.
Speak when spoken to.
Do puzzles
while you paint.

I don’t mind.
Don’t care at all.
I am just a puppet.

Beat me,
I will cry false tears
because it makes you
happy;
not because it hurts.

I don’t feel a thing
when you pull
the chain
around my throat.

Later,
you’ll count bruises
with a gentle touch,
kiss each one.

All better.

There is genuine
affection;
part and parcel
with abuse.

And love –
It’s just a word.
Unreal
as Santa Claus.

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