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her head a hollow

scrubbed clean,

the inside of her skull

brillo-pad-scoured,

empty as the wind

on a milwaukee corner

in midwinter.

 

sometimes she writes

her pain with blades

as sharp as the scorn

she suffers,

trapped in her own

cyber inferno

of antisocial media.

 

the scars she pulls

long sleeves down over

at the breakfast table,

where normality can

suddenly slap her in the face.

 

broken inside,

a toy whose mechanism

has wound down

for the last time.

 

the family crunch toast

and pour tea

while the whole of her

is seething,

wrenched apart.

 

alone at night,

she covets their clarity,

the marks on her skin.

they are brisk,

no nonsense ,

well defined,

while she is a vague mass

of anxiety and indecision.

 

somehow they make

her clean and whole

single her out for notice.

they are the signs

of her in action,

a strategy for change.

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