This Is Not A Kindness

 

 

 

 

Mam tells me my heart is soft as a peach.

She kisses my cheek like it’s the last time.

My heart is soft as a peach, and Mam tells me

there is kindness, somewhere.

I look beneath layers; cardboard, paper, polyester,

synthetic comfort. The look of a stranger

when they spare loose change; enough

for soup, or soap.

My heart is soft as a peach and Mam tells me

there is kindness. I see my first dead body at six.

At six, I know the plasma expelled

by a corpse on the street, pooled in the piss

around a nameless man’s feet.

My heart is soft as a peach when at ten

I see my first penis.

Mam told me there is kindness somewhere,

so I learn to read the faces of hungry men

as I lie beneath them, searching for it.

My heart is soft as a peach,

my hips cleavered open,

my bones stretched to splitting

as I search for it, a kindness

anywhere

to keep my heart as soft as a peach.

 

 

 

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