I hope I choke

on dried out ramblings,

(like thorned berries) and

quicksilver impulses

(like slick cherries)


when the light shines,

rips my eyes open,

forcing my pupils to skip across

heads bobbing in a sea of


ready for snap judgements

that define who they are,

Not me.


I’m shoving my mind

up on to this stage,

to test how well the screws work

because this machine

is thirsty for oil,



-in the end they’re all



I want eyes to squint.

Eyebrows stitched together by

Confusion – even better,


What will I do then?

There’s nothing else, but to

look back.


I think that’s where

the cork pops

with an unexpected clack.

And faces become as insignificant

as the empty water jar on the table,

as a present received from a far away relative claiming to know you till the smallest speck.

They think they can count every freckle on your left cheek-

Everyone claims they can, that they know;

that they know it all just by the way my mouth stays agape

how I stand up straight

how I flinch

switch words in between syllables,

number of tickles it takes for me to gasp.

And they’ll wrap it all up with a ribbon,

label it your name.

That’s you, they will say

Don’t be too much, they will say.


And often it gets to me

my tongue ties itself into knots that

Clog the gap between my two front teeth

so I sleep during the day


I forget faces are just faces.

Minds that run on people

are flies congregating around cows’ tails


As long as I don’t step too close,

this machine won’t need to test its clogs

Or choke on smog



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