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Briars

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And shaking my fear
I couldn’t breathe as tears
And other things—my toys,
My words, my dreams, my brains—
Oozed down my face and pooled at the carpet below
Melodramatically as if the briars that slashed
My soggy ankles were actual blades
Brought to life by the moon hidden in rainclouds above me
When they watched me fall off the roof of my house
And break my flashlight against the cold, hard ground
Laughing as I got up and stomped them down past the caverns
And subterranean lakes into the hot pain that was right there beside me
By my socks and my shoes
The same ones that saw me through three miles
Of empty space, floating against waves of gravity
And electricity slower than me, I could sprint here for eternity and
I could breathe away my troubles for infinite days
Until my lungs gave out and I found them yet again
With another face for a brain, another sock in my shoe
Another ankle that got me through a night of rain
And ditches on the side of the road, with my mother crying
But not like me
My mother’s crying and riding in priest’s Toyota—
I think my toys should’ve been thrown away a year after that night
And Christmas wouldn’t have ever been the same for my family
As briars slashed at their ankles
When they waded into the meadow
That I could’ve laid down in and fallen asleep in
And never woken up again
Only to find myself still here in this meadow
With the briars slashing against my ankles
I look around
And find you right there beside me.



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