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These Pretty Years

All night I am ugly, wryneck whore, fantastic misshape.
I cannot stop eating or the eyes, shut and measured
in gloating. Walked convulsive to a bedroom you know

better, demanded proper attentions. What in a waist
is to be proud of? When I was fat you were fine
and now I am indistinct: systolic hysteric, weak

even to the corner to the train, sure I will be stalled
and gassed, that there should be value in a death.
What has passed came trying to rise from cement, might

have carried us steamy both with sturdier legs. I will
lay down with you, I will get up with you. And then
just a day again, small scratches from the testing

of knives to my flesh, the endless face-scrubbing
with will not to waste these pretty years. Something
like folly has infected my blood; I imagine my life

would change with a girl's given name. Heading somewhere
on a street of strangers put to bump and suffocate,
I cannot realize the evolution of this act.

I must have walked because I am still walking.

--Lynn Melnick


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