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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
hypocrisy-coffee.
instead i escape to the kitchen and sip on my
tea.

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
spaceless.




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