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May 2023
Words stick to skin like bad dreams. Awake,
cold sweat, twisted in sheets with a half-remembered phrase.
Every story has a part of it that's true.
That’s why I lie.

I’m sorry about your bedding.
I’m sorry about my teeth,
about the edge that tells me to laugh when I know I shouldn’t,
and I’m sorry about the way I pull your hair when you’re above me-
I forget that it’s not mine.

I used to collect ideas like friendship bracelets on the last day of camp,
I used to listen to your breath catch in sleep and wish that I had pitched it.
I used to think in stanzas, and sigh into verses,
like a poem about a poem about a poem.

Now I barely think.
I miss thoughts like trains.
I sweat your bed.
I hold your attention like a bouquet,
then knot it like a tourniquet.
I keep patience like a promise.
Now I collect only what I can taste,
only what I can swallow whole.
Kiernan Norman
Written by
Kiernan Norman  Connecticut
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