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Artwork by Isabelle Lu, staff artist

By Enya Goonetilleke

Faint lines carve his face.

The whiteness of his knuckles.

His eyelashes are spider legs and

His tears fall in little white pearls

Like lacewing fly eggs.

His whispers are metallic, and

Broken glass falls from his pink lips.

His tan hand swallows mine, and I

Cannot help but to shrink

From his sweaty touch.

I sit close to him, our knees


His pain is indecent.

The unspoken hurt written in his black eyes,

Is too open, too deep.

Too familiar.

I should not be here.

Someone might see us together. People talk.

But his skin, worn from concealing his decaying soul,

Drips with rose water and smells

of red poppies.

And his body, fashioned from porcelain

and bird bones

Leans against mine.

And I do not dare move,

for fear of him falling off me,

And shattering into a shimmering pile of dust.

Yet his tormented expression guts me,

And peels away my layers of adhesive and teflon.

He reveals my trembling, fire-tipped demons,

Whose mouths only know to sob and scream

And hands made only to claw and scratch.

So he and I sit here, two fucked up kids.

One smelling of flowers, the other of plastic.

One deteriorating for the world to see, the other crumbling

from within.

And as we wring the tears from our shirts

And summon the smiles our face have forgotten to give,

People are sure to talk.

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