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Artwork by Joanna Chen, staff artist

Groveling at midnight,

The sound of tears hammering on your door,

I am trembling as you nail lies into my mouth and

sobs of empty pleas meet indifference.

Golden are silent wails of sorrys

and hesitant confessions of fictitious crimes—

you adore wrenching humility and compliance,

don’t you?

Tonight, I observe my body as it crumples

to reboot my brain,

and this time,

I sheathe my heart, too, but

flail in panic when my polyethylene armor

flares up in a fiery indigo and

stains the ivory white

that is no longer mine.

So, I flirted

with Death,

skimming blades along my skin,

and the cool metal kissed my hairs.

I let myself close my eyes while

he skirted dangerously close,

and I when I awoke, I found myself


on the fringe

of a framed forfeiture.


I guess I am sorry,


this sick love story of a fling

was so cliché

because we were both left simmering

in the ashes of our lies.

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