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by Amanda Chiado

My brothers loved
to poke my bruises
achey-achey can’t be
the only verse of boys.

Inside my veins are
shattered, miniscule chandeliers
whose beauty must recover.

“At least it didn’t break the skin.”
Someone always has false comfort,
great minimizer. Step on the roses
and you can still smell the earth

in them. When the lights dim
and all those bruises are calling
to the soil and the body goes home,

I will ring with shatter, every
delicately strung luminescent dream
will pool up into dark rivers and I will be
the most tender evidence of life.

The quiet body plummets
into gratitude.

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