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i left my tongue in st. louis knotted 'round my ex's finger with a diamond-shaped tumor six-carat dead ringer. a year later i'm a drinker. whiskey while the sad songs play. and you don't love her if you never wanted to punch her fiancé. my anger's an anchor of pure regret. so i knuckle drag this path as unsure as my steps in the direction of any woman whose face isn't yours 'cause you don't need me to sleep like lexapro and red doors. it's less force and more labor to write dear johns with razors. so distance is a blessing when indifference is your nature. but the miles ache like stillborns and cherubim choked on words to sweeten my failures and your therapist's notes. so i carry these ghosts, cursed to bury epistles daily at a keystroke's depth in this swan cemetery. mercy red-feathered vulture bait me chances to leave her. birthdays were flight or flight. whole years of tandem seizures. feed me ether, little one. but trust there's foreplay in its taste and SKECH says the best revenge'll be fucking faye reagan. still my hands breaks for the name you chase to save the date with. power lloyd stabbing himself with the pen diane gave him. but maybe fate was right to let our days stray vagrant. acquired taste for decay that keeps pace with the aphids. plowface through each iris on the bed we laid for us. today it's my turn to confuse the sweat we made for love.


the laser script inside the diamond reads, "this is where she settled." tell paul i almost buried her twice between the echoes of bell tolls cut quiet. violence is a lonely expression. she don't love you if she wouldn't gut you and hang you with your lower intestine. or at least threaten it in detailed in e-mails and snuff-worthy text messages. ex exits shit. between our collarbones explains it. the difference between love and slow cannibalism is entertainment. and this is applause fading like the ashes of our stained glass wishbone breaking. and breaking to scrape her shoulder. she'll laugh when it's over. no question-shaped ache of weighing thorns to trade for closure. no. today, she's estranged framed in negative space, sewing graves for dissent in the wake of her gate. where sober silence is verse. the vainest of grace and broken bass violins pull untangling veins.

no funerals for one-month olds, crying over test results. no lady-in-waiting wading knee-deep in her lexapro. depression grew a mouth and ate my portion of hours. is love love if it'd rather be a corpse in the shower?


from Music to Feel Like Sh_t to., released November 21, 2016
Produced by Analog(ue) Tape Dispenser.


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Lamon Manuel Chicago, Illinois

you either die a hero or live long enough to become a rapper with a band.

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