Poetry

Filling Out

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You’re filling out along the edges, as though
instead of growing into yourself,
you’re building out for everyone else-
Piling on their eyes like armor,
cushioning your fragile face
in God and Glory and
whatever other wonders you find
in the hymn-soaked halls
where you raise your voice in prayer
instead of passion

As beautiful as your supplication soars,
the notes ring rotary
and I can’t help but think
you’re singing their songs to soothe your own,
making their music to mute the madness
beneath your skin

So, stretched out beautifully by
the child who would be cherub,
I watch you fall from grace-
flesh feathering,
manufacturing distance like
the silent cigarettes that rest
on the precipice of your mouth

Somewhere beneath are your bones,
buried with your fire and
smothered into silence-
I tried to dig them up with the brittle of my fingers,
but I broke across the shore
of your broadening skin-

feeling for the heart behind the steel and
coming back burned
by the cold between your ribs

I no longer feel the fire,
cornered by your universe

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