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Shameless Beggars

The silence presses down on me
Like eager shameless beggars
Prodding my patchwork pockets
Shouting “god bless you”
Into my crucified ears.

The silence strangles me like a noose
My old friend Jack Hemp
Reminiscing about childhood memories
While he crushes me windpipe
In his rough, scratchy arms.

The silence eats at me
Like heartache and guilt and tear-stained nights
When my pillow muffled my selfish sobs
And shaky hiccups.

The silence haunts me and hurts me
And makes me want to pound on the prison walls of my mind
Shouting “let me be”
But I welcome its stings and blows
With forced smiles and fragile, open arms
Because the silence is better than the whispered contemptuous shouts
Of “You’re worthless”
“You’re nothing”
“You’re ugly.”
The silence is better than my own fists
Beating me over the ears with truths
I’m too afraid to hear
And lies I swallow with a sigh.



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