The 10 Commandments This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 19, 2016
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i. you shall not have any gods before me
in the middle of the summer
i tread across your balance beams,
sift through the darkness on my knees and
stumble upon
your bodily monasteries.
i choose to ignore the fact that you’d
strangle the world for your
mirror deities;
instead i turn away to
arch my back in the mirror and i
find refuge in
numbering my uneven heartbeats.
ii. you shall not make idols
yes, you are impressed by my skin
and the faucet is drip drip dripping, slipping
into the rusting sink and your name
is scribbled all over the rim: the idol of
your vanity. slide
your hand into the drain and bow upon the
tile floor; stretch for the objects that you create.
iii. you shall not take the name of your lord in vain
one day we’d sit on the
bleached kitchen counters with the
black chipped edges and
you’d whisper, “jesus christ, i’m hungry”
and i’d tell you that it’s much easier to be
an atheist when your stomach becomes
the center of your prayers and
i’d make us grilled cheese sandwiches
on the foreman, let you chop the tomatoes
and let you
be the one to suffer the consequences.
iv. keep the sabbath
it’s sunday and i wonder if you know
that i do all of my wishing on
sunday afternoons.
sometimes i wish i was
the swinging, golden chandelier
in our miami cathedral, swaying to the beat
of your communion;
sometimes i wish i was
a single prayer
frozen in
alaskan stone.
v. honor your father and mother
there is smoke on your breath and
tobacco between your teeth; you are
standing tall in the choir,
offering praises and i am
wondering if i should be searching for your honor
in your refrigerated beer or your
instead i escape to the kitchen and sip on my
vi. you shall not murder
there are chisel marks on
my lungs, as if you wished to excavate
the diamond breaths suspended in
my words, as if i didn’t already catch you
scraping away at my faith with merely
your fingernails.
vii. you shall not commit adultery
i’d steal a second skin if it made you happy,
if feeling a stranger’s goosebumps would
make your lips curl
in satisfaction,
if rubbing a stranger’s knees against the
folds of your palms would
satisfy the mines in your eyes.
viii. you shall not steal
i let you pick my pockets but i can’t help but
murmur while you thieve,
“if you steal my veins again, i’m
going to have to ask you to leave.”
ix. you shall not bear false witness
you’d bite your tongue and lie that
you’d never leave me
and i’d inform you that i already know
you’ve disappeared with
someone else’s second skin,
and i’d turn away to
arch my back in the mirror and
count my heartbeats again.
x. you shall not covet
i can already see myself
excavating those emeralds of envy
in your eyes; you think i’m beautiful,
i think i’m restless, and ever since i was
small enough to hold
your hand, you made those spaces between
wrong and right seem

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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ATroubledWriterThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm
I just wanted you to know that out of the entire printed issue of this month, this was my favorite selected entry. I'm looking forward to your other works. :)
Hanban12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm
Thank you so much, that truly means the world to me. :)
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