Fold me into little squares at the bottom of a tin cup.

Hold the tin cup over an open fire;

fan the flames as you push me deeper.

I won’t look up at you from the bottom;

I won’t give away an ounce of pain

as my body begins to quiver against the gray walls,

the minor details of a solid form:

microscopic pores; creases in my fingertips

with the history of who I used to be

begin to deconstruct and break away,

like the decomposition of a leaf.

And my bones could’ve been the frame of a house,

but not anymore.

And my skin could’ve been a shield from the sun,

but not anymore.

And my lungs could’ve been your sails,

but not anymore.

When I finish boiling, slowly put me to your mouth.

Take a quick sip before you spit out my insolence to water the earth.

Taste my degrees of contradiction;

of nonchalance and heartache.

I will wrap my new form around your tongue

to slip a quiet poison—just this once—

before I can be accepted into the temple and be converted,

to be breathed out in the form of carbon dioxide,

and finally—finally!—

declare my independence.


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