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  Hope Zane

Published on: 12/18/2013
The Unspeakable Language

My skin is the unspeakable language; my tongue is so clumsy—please forgive me.

I'm on fire. My body, my head, it all burns. I caught the jitters when no one was looking.

My asthmatic lungs ask, when I take drags off your cigarette, "Woman, how can you be so ungrateful?"

I get nervous and twitch because I want so much to apologize. My skin is trying to shudder me out of it, so it can make its best and last apology for the beauty and pain that I've been.

Echo is a cautionary tale. She cried til there was nothing left but a voice.

And I know you don't think that I know, but I understand grief like that. I look young, so you want to put me in that box, the vapid-and-pretty, but I've seen things, Brother. Things have been done to this sweet, raw flesh. Things I can't take back, and sometimes I want to.

Brother, I want to cram it all in my mouth and sing.

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