don’t fear your own shadow. a constant companion. dreadful to face.

peel back the layers. one breath at a time. smoke filled lungs.

makes it easier to place. the demons back in cage.

till you learn their names. and listen. to what they have to say.

the taste of betrayal

went to the airport

bought a pack of cigarettes

I don’t smoke. well, I didn’t use to.

this version of me does.

resentment inhaled with every drag

that love is keeping me

from self-destructing

it felt good to be somebody else

f r e e of attachment

just body on body

flesh on flesh

no room for broken hearts

in exchanged gasps

how can something

that tastes of betrayal

feel so honest?

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ash tray piled high

ghosts of friends and lovers

haunting the shades

an empty whiskey stained crystal glass

tobacco in my bed

thirsty crinkling plants

flea bites dotting my skin

ribs peeking out

sun ripened flesh

ink stained fingers blackened

from trying to reach within

the sticky tar of trauma

surgically removed with my pen

why does my healing

have to come from neglect?

phone screen still blank

take another sip

take another drag

water the plants

wash the sheets

give the dog a bath

rub ointment on my worried skin

eat some bread

slathered with butter and jam

and remember

I’ve always known how to

b e g i n. a g a i n.