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November 14, 2016 | Poetry

Understand, I Wasn't Always This Way

Taylor Collier

Understand, I Wasn't Always This Way photo

There's caution in the resolve. There's
something winding in the ring.

The ugly prodigy is, at the end of plastic
surgery, still ugly.  I understand you

weren't always the kind of woman
to set her own hair on fire.  Or maybe
you were.  Victory always comes

with a cost, they say, as if failure
doesn't.  Somehow, this idea's warped

us like bedazzled scavengers.  Whether
it's you, or me, or the taxation fees,
or blood's menacing appearance

in urine.  The question's not under
the whether, but rather the wine

and how it drips into your ear
from a string.  It's the way you can't
help but let it.  Understand, neurotic

perfectionists are mostly calculated,
a certain ilk of repressing every bite

to a pinch.  But the prodigy is different.
Piqued by the opportunity for resolution,

she'll set her hair on fire and wait
for you to put it out.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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