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How You Became a Monster

It happened slowly.
Anger became a physical ailment,
it blistered up in scales.
You ran your tongue along your teeth
in exasperation. They were sharper
than you remembered; you slit your tongue
in half with the things you wanted to say
but did not. Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!
You hissed and coiled in on yourself.
If you can't say something nice.
You have a hard look
you inherited from your mother.
You have a hard mouth
from keeping it shut.
They say you didn't raise
the moon-white child you gave birth to.
Your hair tangling up from the strands you lose
in clumps as months go past as you fatten
the growing demigod. The matts grow teeth.
Only one who also has sacrificed
the daily exercises of attraction knows
exactly how hard to comb your long
tresses become. The statues will never know,
they were not the kind to love like this.
They were the ones whose mouths are open.
But silent now, and so less unkind.
This is the process wherein vision became fatal.
You have circled back in on yourself until
you know how your species'
lizard brainstem works. You see pettiness
and aggression. You see the weakness
of the glass before it breaks and cuts you.
You see the loneliness in the ones
who slap your outstretched hand away.
It is still a human hand.
You see with the harsh light
glowing inside of you. It simmers
Your heart, monster, is a human one,
and the violence of your eyes
is that of knowledge.

Photo by Mirco Delcado


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