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three by tracie e. vaughn

i am tasting the lake of you,
salty and dirty
and filled with all the foreign particles
that i used to know.
the hard twigs, splintering my lips -
just like your collarbone
at night -
biting your skin
until my passion dwelled
inside you -
but it didn't end there,
and it doesn't still.
i miss licking words on your chest,
smearing the black ink
all over your pale, inviting body.
and as i taste this lonely ocean,
savoring the stagnant flavor in my mouth,
i ache for the taste of your
fingers, salty from a hard night's labor.
and the freshness that comes
reminds me of your rainy hair
whipping across my face.
and the ill bacteria
brings me back to the
horrible infestation
living in me,
that is you.

smells like dead
in my brain
and in my night,
wailing banshees
attacking every cell -
and still, it
smells like dead
everytime you come close
everytime you unzip me
everytime you pull back the covers
you know the horrifying stench
that's stronger than you are,
and you know that it
smells like dead
when you find me,
blue-lipped and frozen
and cracked and you know
how to gloss over the obvious
when you don't want to think,
and you do, too, don't you? yes,
and i know that it
smells like dead
when you pull me out of the dirt
and into the bath, and the
MUD cakes onto your hands like
beauty -
and i love the way your eyes look -
surprised, but not; you knew it would happen.
and now you flinch at the repugnant
odor of me.

numb from the narcotic overload
i fall into the sparks that are not real -
and i know it's abuse
and i was against it a
decade ago
but you were too -
and i'm sweaty from the sickness
overtaking me,
and so many times i've sworn i would beat it
but i haven't.
and i backslide every time
into what i hate
and what i don't know how to avoid -
and even my toes feel it
and feel it good.
and i'll never understand it
or know why i was the one chosen,
so i take another sip
and hope i feel it soon
but it's never soon enough.
and i'm my own little secret
and i hate it but i hold onto it
like my life depends on it -
and in a way, it does.
and i try yet another mixture
because each one prior hates me as
soon as i ingest -
so what else can i do
but sit and wait for it all to
catch up with me -
and i know it will.
but by that time
not only will it be too late,
but it will also be too soon
and only 25 minutes past -
the time has come to find another
sacred fucking factor
to add to the macabre
that has already
started the car,
preparing its unfortunate retreat -
its nightly ritual
that will leave me without sleep,
but with the devastating tho't
that the sum will indeed rise -
just as it always has.
feeling more ill that when i started
and i wonder why it all has to be
the way it all has to be -
and why i have to hear the
fucking sweet demons
in every metre.

all poems (c) 1997 tracie e. vaughn

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