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I am Red

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I painted a picture 
And then I was poisoned
Hexavalent chromium
Contaminated the water I drank from that night
Six million thoughts became nothing
I thought I cleared the drain-
Someone must’ve poured it down my throat instead
The painting was forgotten
As I watched
They watched
Red
Bleeding from beneath my tongue
When I bit down on the words.

I lit the flame of our fury
Too quickly,
Too quickly we were gone
Hydrogen exploded
Invisible
In seconds
Incinerated before we even saw the flames.

I told my children to eat quietly
I didn’t want them to share my fate
Yet they bit down on their forks
And became stupid
As they chewed their way through dinner
Their tongues
Lead in their mouths.

They told me I spoke too much
I was dizzy with cavities in my brain
So they shoved mercury into my mouth
And let me drive myself mad
Forgetting over time
Over time
over.

I forgot,

I didn’t realize,
I apologized
For believing
For playing with elements
Of life
That I shouldn’t have.
I was dangerous
And poison
I was unwanted
To be handled with caution
I was sickness
People named cancers
And world wars after me
People blamed the suicide of their children
And the struggle to breathe
On me
As I polluted and destroyed them.

I just wanted to paint the picture
Let them coexist.

The deadly
The ones that burned
The ones who were hidden
The ones that were sickness and grief
And wrong.

They were always the most powerful
We just couldn’t contain them.

The one who wanted more than red






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