Turn your face to the dirt
and cut your vowels short,
bite down on every accent.
Wrap yourself in black,
make yourself an afterthought
a shadow, a wisp of displaced
atmosphere. Your name is going to be
the death of you,
your face is a portrait of falling.

Dye your skin a colder color
and douse your eyes in bleach.
We’ll stuff your mouth with
cigarettes and crooked phonemes,
but birthmarks always speak louder
than your broken intonations.

You, with the orange lip-
have you considered
a renaissance, an apostasy,
effacement of all trace
of your garish birth?
Let us help you, let us inject
your veins with fever and poison,
scald the shriveled viscera
burn your sin from inside-out.

Here we preach
the gospel of abandon
and the chanticleer’s poised
to cry- it’s time you denied
your photographs, your blood,
the black incision
carved above your heart.
Swear on a bible, the ocean,
the grave you dug,
tell us you don’t pray for wings
or thalassic tesserae.
Don’t waste your cherished time
dressing wounds in our shroud;
you’ll never learn
to stop bleeding through.

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