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Aug 2016
See her,
skinny lassie -
so aware,
stood there
at the counter.

The eyes
lifted from papers,
hooded and guilty,
leering
under sunglasses.

She knows nothing,
thinks
she's in charge.
Bless her.
Whatever's going to break her
hasn't happened yet.

Makes me shudder,
the thought.
The painful innocence.
"Just a fruit smoothie, please!"
she sparkles
at the man.
Thinks his approval
is unloaded,
worth seeking.

No eyes on me.
Glances fall off me.
If I catch a look,
I see it turn
to embarrassment,
pity
or scorn.

Firing blanks, guys.
I'll take those
over possessiveness,
lust,
crawling promises.
Over saccharine
strychnine
strangler smiles,
over violence, veiled
as love.
Your attention is toxic.
Better show it as such.

"Chips and cheese, please,"
I wheeze,
and his sneer
is a klaxon
of cruel jokes
he'll share with colleagues later.

Those
are the tiny victories
of victimhood,
as the twirling girl inside
stays protected,
unsuspected.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
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