a spell,

said to pin prick our joy

and save it for the fear

   tucked beneath our ears.

hands up

for big living,

privy to the “good girl english”

pierced through skull and grime

          never leaving grieving time

for the burnt up news spread that

shrieks erasure to those not knocked

but chalked full of,

i am

and never

      what will i have to be.

hung to a different mercy

   the three times better

          the four steps ahead,

                     the five gunshots

while you’re sleeping in bed

the half pulled knife;

the chain broken

but your hands still crossed behind your back.

we don’t snap, we repair,

it’s false, it’s unaware


we get the check mark,

the, you’ve passed, the, you’re good,

        you’re in

        you win

too bad we can’t skin,

      your skin