Let’s Talk About The Shadows

The women in my family have iron in their veins,
but mine bends the wrong way.
It’s like I was born with a magnet in me that repelled me from anything
I could find in the ground there.

I name the emptiness in the city tunnels,
the kind I find in the tube when the lights flicker.
The ones who left have now done their leaving,
so I fill and empty all my mugs.
This is my secret shame,
this is now how I cope with failure of intimacy;
Name my tongue entropy,
so I remember everything decays and is reborn again.

The men in my family have salt in their veins,
but my crooked veins are filled with sugar.
It’s like I was born with bait in me that compelled me to hook on to anything
I could dig out of the deep in people.

I name the emptiness in the urban parks,
the kind I find in the hollow of the old trees.
The ones I left have now done their mourning,
so I fill and empty my mouth.
This is my open defiance,
this is how I cope with complacency of contentment;
name my breath strength,
so I remember this too is life, even on the bad days.

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