If you can touch your hand to mine
you would feel
skin that isn’t yours gripping like putty.

It wants to eat you—
to lap you up and devour as an amoeba.

Because it is not my hand you’re holding.

It is the hand of the devil—
the wicked grin of a mimic with just enough
humanity to be all wrong and all right and all
the ways I don’t deserve this and don’t deserve
you and don’t deserve to be happy.

But you don’t know this as you reach—
to grip tight and tell me it’s alright and
to be able to squeeze hard enough
to scare away the darkness
and the doubt.

And I can’t warn you—
there is a hand over my mouth
with fingers digging to my teeth and pulling
so hard I can feel the crack of my smile as it breaks.

Because it wants to keep the smile.

It wants to hold and freeze and swallow me whole.
And I am just a hollow vessel sloshing against the windows
of my eyes—

and you just think I’m crying.


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