you are written in knife on the lines of my hands 

and the hands of my mother 

 

your love falls through my fingers 

like loose change from torn pockets

 

of the coat you bought me last fall. 

 

your rage smothers me – 

it is pressed leaves

 

from the maggot-sick tree 

you cut down years ago, 

 

traces of rotten meat left 

to cling to the rusted grill 

 

and birds left to decay 

with molded and bloody wings

 

before you lit the woods on fire. 

 

the mirror in my room 

reflects the lines of your face

 

worried wrinkles are regrets

stretched through time 

 

and I see myself there,

a blackened bird without wings, 

 

flightless and chained to the ground.

 

By Olivia Lewis

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