poetry

elimination

I ache for something
but I am not sure what.

The aching stops
when I eat pop tarts
when I masturbate
when I yell at my children
when I breath deeply.

Why do you not ache?
Why do you not eat pop tarts?
Why do you not spit them out,
moving your fat tongue over your
teeth, digging into your cheeks,
penetrating holes,
scraping the roof of your mouth,
clumsily
hiding the evidence?

Stupid.

I am sure of one thing:

there is no light
there is no dark
there is just elimination
and
the failure to eliminate.

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other people's poems

in prison

In prison
without being accused

or reach your family
or have a family You have

conscience
heart trouble

asthma
manic-depressive

(we lost the baby)
no meds

no one
no window

black water
nail-scratched walls

your pure face turned away
embarrassed

you
who the earth was for.

– Jean Valentine, “In Prison,” from The New Yorker (May 27, 2007)

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