Breaking

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She has her mouth closed,
sewn up with black thread—
the needle still dangling,
zippered like a sweater
frozen shut on a winter morning,
clipped together with safety pins
pulling the skin inward.

Breaking with the tension,
the thread starts to tear,
the zipper snaps apart
after a chilling gust of wind,
and at the corners of her lips
the pins pop open, one by one.

And the words crawl out,
dripping like slugs from her mouth,
sliding between the stitches,
leaking through the metal binding,
wriggling past the sharp pins,
flowing down her chin like acid

that stings her tongue, but keeps coming,
eroding the thread ‘til it’s strings of saliva,
washing the metal ‘til teeth gleam through,
gushing over the pins ‘til they are swept away,
and, with a torrent of intensity,
the tsunami breaks her open.





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