Cut the crusts off

038-048 BeautyPapers#2_TomJohnson_SY.inddWhen they say

You’re so beautiful

I’d prefer they

Get a needle

And stitch their mouths

Shut

It isn’t true

I have a horse for a jaw

A mountain for a forehead

And my eyes are

Continually watering

With their words

Some do not feel like kindness

They are broken pieces of yourself

Irreconcilable

Don’t call me that

Can’t you see beneath the layers

A scream is

Not beautiful

You only say that

Because words have become filler

For silence

And

Often for truth

But the truth is

I am an animal

My jaw continually muscular

You chew

This artificial sweetener as we

Press ourselves obedient

Sitting in high chairs at empty tables

Void of nourishment

The formal hedges of the maze, flower late this year

Too little rain save saline, and crackers, left to dampen in the tree house

I always said

Cut the crusts off

Take a plunge

Underwater you can see better when they come

Patent toes incased in skin, cramping their march

Like wooden soldiers who

Briefly lent life’s lumbering

Will grow flushed and warm

Retaining their glimmering uniforms

Dyed into the marrow of their grain

Did you see the imprint of the pillow where I have lain?

Watching for night markets among the trees

Hawking their jewels as magpie thieves

A glimmer of willow the wisp

Forfeiting glamor for real magic

Vaporized by the sound of reality

Clicking like an old boiler trying to knit her self the semblance

Of youth

Glazing the russet bleed of nightfall