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Number 23

Numbers 6 through 22 have been locked up in chains,
but will be released at 8pm sharp.


I built a wall around my heart-
tried to make it tall and strong
so you couldn’t climb over and in.
You’re a sleepwalker,
leaving me flowers that wilt and
committing unknown sins of imagined smiles.
I banned you from my pen and
so many times I stared at it
while it rested on my pillow
or on the floor or on the table,
always shouting your name.
Not today.
Today I unbar the entrance and lead you to the town square.
Do your damage. Start a fire and it won’t scare me or
make me run for water that doesn’t exist.
I’ll watch the orange glow grow with a smile.
I’ll let it take me now
so that later when I want to see your face
I’ll have the strength and restraint to stay home.
while you make your art I will make mine.
I’m going to greet each moving hour
the way a blind man greets the stranger he doesn’t hear pass.
This is nothing.
This is the tremble in the grass before the quake.
This is my pen wandering around
just glad to be unbound and testing its feet.
Tonight it runs free
dances naked

paints words in colors you’ll never see
because you don’t care to know.
C’est la vie.

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