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Bubblegum *pops* such beautiful lies
we told our children {{protection}}.
Artificial cherry berry muted your face.

Peel him off, roll him tight, cut to size
Mastication is your vengeance, better
Carnivore than cadaver, just
don’t ever let him in.

He’ll swallow you inside
out. Spit you juiceless.
You will seek…sanctuary
below his shoe – so he can’t
see you, chew you, spit you.

You’ll lick the streets riding
snakeskin feet: fetish
for abuse.

Expelled, you’ll hold on
to an ornate manhole lattice
till the rains carry you
to the subway tracks
and a rat
will read you poetry
while you fall asleep listening
to the downtown express.