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2 Diagnosis Code Poems photo


what hath God wrought stop
           we hold these truths to be self-evident
we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow
the body of a weak and feeble woman
I have a dream
           we have a problem

I have nothing to offer but blood toil tears and sweat
the battle sir is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant
nothing in life is to be feared—it is only to be understood
our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not
           created equal

I myself will take up arms
the die is cast
           I went down



she tells him I have a cold
she lies
she wonders
will he notice the difference
she calls her mother

her mother loosly lips a cigarette

as she pops popsicles into the freezer
you look like a fish she says
why’d you want fatter lips she says
white smoke wagging a thin line

the better to eat with
she says or
kiss with or
blow great big
bubbles with or
be more photogenic

her mother smirks
her ex-husband’s new wife’s boob job
sags too duck face

you let me know how things go
her mother says

she eats when alone again
the mirror and
the boldly smiling brochure
she poses puckered up
precious permanent
promised and kept
well polished with what weeps
from lip edges
and the whipped edges
of shuddering imaginations

image: Tara Wray