by C. Duhnne


Thoughts: catalogued
packed into boxes
neatly assembled in
pecking order
from hurts to breathe
to hurts but I can deal;
stuffed into the back
in descending order
and locked away
to collect

Interest rates waver
between those who ask
and those who get answers,
the genuine below
the obtuse
— the packing order:
those who can’t hurt
placed before you.

I know, I’m a liar
hidden behind pearls
and baggy t-shirts
and liquid-tight jeans,
feet pounding pavement
giving up the vices
that allow the demon
within free range.

I know, I know that
I am a tease
and a beggar
and I’ve begged for release
that never came in the form of
white powder and

Substance was never
something I lacked
except when it came
to looking within
and I learned to hide
perfected by the art of
swiping right
for those who won’t
care to see.

Hearts: catalogued
packed into memories
tinsel-wrapped tight
and arranged in
descending order
collecting interest
because interest is
some form of self-redemption,
or was it esteem?

It became a matter of
and I learnt
as the mascara smudges
that those who hurt
will be those who stay
and those who stay
are worth more
in terms of gain
and I learned
to unpack the boxes

I learned to shuffle the deck
switch the rules
and reclaim self
assurance assured
intention disturbed
rearranged in
descending order
from important to

People who stay
deserve the best of you
and those who care
won’t care to judge
and the interest rates won’t
waver when you waive
the contacts that bind
you in your mind
so let go of yourself
to let someone find
the parts of you parceled
in descending order
from most painful to become

I am.

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