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what you've tamed

birthday cake — keeping it all down
little cousins, little beasts more like with beady eyes
and vicious smiles
the waist of your jeans, more buttons, tighter and tighter
your selfish heart, criminal minds with your rotten brain
swallowing, smiling, swearing — all cheerfully mind you!
throwing fish flakes (shopping, a new car,
a hint — maybe he likes you? -cue exaggerated wink-)
to your old fishes, gather new ones and watch
them die out as you grow brighter





remember, they have a memory span of 5 seconds





keep them interested.
how you hide food: in the real soil of fake plants,





in your napkin,





wedged in the back of your throat,





once, when you were desperate, in your purse





(it ruined your phone case)
smiling, smiling, smiling
b**** slapping some girl for stealing your boyfriend

— with enough force that it hurt,


but holding back so the imprint of your


five fingers, and the thin band of your


promise ring disappear in a teacher’s gaze.
how you tease, just enough so he’ll slap you on the a-- instead of giving you a
goodbye kiss to your door.
remember: smile, smile, smile.
counting obsessively,


becoming good at math to capture and burn each






calorie.
the realization you don’t like him much anyway, but smile



and keep your rage quiet


calm
sedated
tranquil

tamed.



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