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Change the locks
When I was nine, I
told my mom I was running away.
sneaking out late at night,
I danced across the neighbors lawn in my bare feet.
soaking dew into my pores until I was
cold enough to go back home,
and mom never unlocked the door.
I was unpacking the colorful teddy bears and
nectar- sweet fruit punch from my bag when I
decided to lose my words,
And spent the school night fashioning a
lock onto my lips.
I hid the key in a hollow
board under my bed.
at night I could hear it scraping,
like fingers scrabbling at my yellow wall paper.
The doctors always stood in quiet huddles,
poking with cold fingers,
as white coats illuminated their faces.
they couldn't hear my lips pursing,
over the sound of mom wrenching
the lock against my teeth.
She twisted it,
moving my tongue against rusted gold,
flipping it up and down,
against my cracked lips.
I sometimes dreamt of talking,
watching my mouth form splendid art
that never matched with sound.
I always awoke to my words
scraping along the floorboards,
slipping out the front door and
they danced across the neighbors lawn in their bare feet,
soaking dew into their pores until they were cold.
cold enough to go back home.
It was only later I realized I never unlocked the door.