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my mother wonders why I am never home

and my love is never quite certain why I’ve gone mute

and my sisters keep telling me they miss me

and I can’t look them in the eyes anymore

can’t tell fanciful and fantastic lies anymore

.

went to meeting today

discussed plastic bags and pillow cases

you know, important, life-saving shit

across the way,

I study her face

her hair looks different than normal

are her eyes swollen from crying?

I hear myself smiling

those old muscles rigid from disuse

she returns the gesture

and I wonder if she blames 

me for that night, hands tied

playing God, botching life and death

I avert my gaze

to examine his face

his hands folded atop the table with grace

I like observing him, when he’s not looking

pretend he’s a different person

images of him in uniform clashing

colliding with configurations of his body

from the other night, eyes rolling back

into his skull, all the kisses I planted on his face

someday they’ll grow into weeds

I wonder if it’s me he blames

averting my gaze, diverting my words

I can’t give him what he needs, you know

so I get quiet and later, apologize

he claims it’s alright, the silence

but I know better by now

everyone throws blame somewhere

the target on my back makes it all too easy

.

my mother wonders why I am never home

and my love is never quite certain why I’ve gone mute

and my sisters keep telling me they miss me

so I tell them what they don’t want to hear

that I’ve discovered I’m human after all

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