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I. Exposure

my grip on youth,
innate and burgeoning,
weathers prematurely.
surrounded by
leafless, moribund
branches that are
while the trees of
life and growth and fullness
are neglected,
i pray for
a body full of blood
that begs to burn and
(envious of the cold blooded,
scaly-sheathed and shedding),
a closet full of
the scale claims throne
in my home
and i
bow to it.

II. Acquisition

this is the moment
everything has been leading up
muscles sore and
fingers adorned with
stomach acid,
i am eating myself
(my insides are nibbling at my outsides
my insides push and protrude)
i am more
than i have ever been.
i stand upon my
verdict-begetting throne
filled with
and not much else.

III. Suffering

i sit before a plate full of
numbers and self-loathing.
I abstain.
in my pilgrimage, I have grown
closer and closer to the
painted goddess on the
more and more my collarbones
resemble hers’ sharpness and resolve
(while my bones become the
chalk-like stuff upon which
her image is cast)
outside the bounds of this
bystanders whisper and point
“are you ill?”
“have a bite”

(silent applause

from every

corner of the earth

and heavens)

IV. Recovery

they should have put a scalpel
to my brain
but all they did was put
a spoon in my mouth,
and perhaps that is
all that could be done
since they cannot yet
put a scalpel to the face of
the world.
i sit before a plate full of
numbers and self loathing,
now a glutton and a hedonist,
my body filled with
but substance.

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