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nelipot This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Brooklyn, NY
i used to color in my nails with markers
(like nail polish)
& declare that i was a princess



used to stand behind trees and hide



picked at my nails
(gnaw gnaw gnaw away, until they've long decayed)
dim & dark


history is written in the swollen corners of

my largely useless brain
behind dusty cabinets and rusty nails
rotting wood and the lost timber


blue skin and red veins
like rivers that fork at the wrist
i used to burst into oblivion and
used to be a billion stars
used to be a galaxy of broken minds
until the wind swallowed all my secrets
and my chest has caved in with
rattling chains
i still remember when my palms used to tell me my future
fortune hasn't smiled at me since

ripped lips and forced grins
where's the respect?
black lines, outlines, beyond the line and i
never meant to cross the border
never meant to do anything

never been anything at all, either, i s'ppose
long ago, i

crept along a dusted river-bend
and rubbed my knuckles against my cheek and
all the bruises were crumbling


into sugar and sweets
i hadn't ever tasted a pastry

'til i held onto his sleeve
we cowered
and ran past the trees, trotted past
humble tumble-weed, which was
all weathered down by the rain
it's always cloudy in outerspace




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