a course in deadening

so much as
breathe my way,
and i’ll fight you
every step.

the lip of giving up
is the proving ground,
turn back,
or die…
I’ve been there.
I returned.

I no longer submit
to your faithless expectations
I am inoculated
by the cutting away,
the parts of me that still cared

your face
no longer a talisman
your crooked finger
a powerless motion
your smile is now an insult

I put my joy in a shallow grave
and I am not afraid.

my heart’s a livid stack
of unrelenting steel
and you can’t touch me

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