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The truth I swallowed last night
did not get enough sleep
like an anemic porcelain doll
it woke up covered in bruises
even in places you’d think
the heaviest of lies couldn’t reach

I was a moon phase too late
in realizing I should have told
or pushed the telling a little harder
because the pregnant silence
could give birth to things
darker than
what it first conceived
wrapped in fear and
ambiguous memories of pain

Because I asked and
he pretended not to hear
so I pretended not to hear myself
and just let the pretentious stillness
rub off the softly spoken words
until it was quiet long enough
for me to wonder if
I really spoke, or
the lateness of the hour was only
making me think I did
and secretly made a pact with
the iron mask of clarity
that I’d just ask again
another time, forgetting
having learned that
there’s supposed to be
strength in purity and
humility must beget sincerity
and you are never
sleep-deprived enough
to stretch your soul peacefully
wearing soiled clothes

“12.419” by photographer Edan Fiterman