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Sixteen

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Sickly sweet honey still drips from your fingers
A still-brewing storm puts ice in your eyes.
The seasick smile of your youth now lingers,
Hides loss with that fractious, crumbling disguise.
At night you chase ghosts with cherry lipgloss
Brush your teeth with strangled prayer each morning.
Fool them, for your heart is stone, stuck in moss.
These cracks of your soul I am still learning.
Even as you fall - scrape knees on pavement -
You squirm from thoughts of your mortality.
Cloak with lovely sheets your skin, like parchment
Disavow those faults with brutality.
For it’s your reflection that you most fear
As you stumble on through your sixteenth year.



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