I read a note out loud to myself,
something I had written in an urgency,
a mania and with its own
staggering precocity these little
messages keep me crawling
on the ledge:
    everything that is really hard
          is going to save your life

and a blackbird landed on the branch
outside my living room
window.
still, their eyes small and
sharp
waiting to dive,
waiting for the buzz of cicadas
to start again.
            that reminds me,

I say in my head
            i’m emaciating.
I take a sip of water.
starved, looking
without touching and
      I want too much
has many meanings.
I read the words aloud again
and pour myself a thimble
of almonds.

it is first that I craft the lie,
not out of revenge but
of general idleness and
devilment, the two things
slated to go hand in hand.
I begin to charm him.
                do you believe everything I say?

and then you become the
braced masochist
and I become
the looming hit.

“maelstrom”

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