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We build above ground now,
touch the earth and lift.

What a beautiful house,
crown molding, wood floors,
but at the edges the
unforgotten blemishes are
handwritten in.

The portrait wall is full of faces that aren’t yours,
why don’t you ever hang your own artwork?

Ink bursts on the tongue,
spit out the truth,
does it have to be beautiful to count?

All those women in front of your mother’s mirror
with their hair pulled tight to scalp,
the pain, the pretty.

What does it mean to get up out of the mud?
That we are dirty, that we are alive,
that we will wield this language
in whatever direction we want.

Fuck it, bring the earth inside,
fuck it, write your secrets in the margins,
fuck it, look yourself in the mirror every morning
and tell it, Ma,
I made it,
fuck,
I made it.

A.M. Kennedy, “The Ugly Wallpaper & Every Other Useful Thing That Came Cheap”

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If it comes to that, will I be forgiven? My basket doth overflow with trinkets, but my heart is a desert, I still don’t understand good exchange rates.

If someone has to be your dagger, I guess I can be strong enough. Shaped by those same hands, take me to the breast and carve.

The anger was brittle, now it’s crumbled to ashy despair. Smear it across all my fragile skin, is this the look we’re going for?

If I have your joy I also have your fear, two gifts for the price of one. Coping is a learned skill, take what you are given and get better at molding.

If it comes to that, forgive me my limits, my cactus heart, the way I wandered too close to the barren and now fear the drought.

I am fallible and weak, I crack at the thought of never doing enough, swallow the fear of going to sleep and missing the call.

But the truth is also feathered joy, a saccharine sweet honey that seeps into all my wounds and soothes me. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but sometimes it’s just relief.

A.M. Kennedy, “You would say anything, and I would say nothing”

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In the howl you breathe
and the trees exhale clouds,
who you were is not, in the end,
who you get to be.

Apply the morning liberally,
watch the eyes in the bathroom mirror ripple,
quicksilver like a magic trick,
there and gone again.

If you’ve got one night perhaps you should grasp it,
perhaps you should mask it,
make peace with the stranger who
wakes up in your bed every morning.

What do they always say
when you’re not the static
they think should be?

A.M. Kennedy, “You’ve Changed”

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Close your eyes.
Ten, nine, eight.
Imagine the great blue new,
the you of tomorrow.
Seven, six,
for five you are alive and taking up
the spaces between seconds.
Four, three,
two hands like the clasp of a door,
pull out your hope and let it be more
than just this feathered
one.

am kennedy, “New Year”

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You give me clutter-rust,
my heart chokes on gasoline fumes,
these lungs flutter like broken birds
beneath Pisonia trees.

Am I hunger or am I food?
Are we lovers in the end,
or just codependency?

am kennedy, “The flutter”

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Let me, says the starving girl.
She scoops from her heartstrings at the dinner table
and serves dessert.
Who is hungry when there’s so much to fear,
when there’s all the soft, supple redness
of the chest left to give?
Every night we sit around the table
and gorge ourselves sick on love that is not our own.
The starving girl says,
this is how we make a home.

am kennedy, “Hunger Birds”
(via siilentiary)

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What is a glass, a bottle,
a throat and belly burn
in the wake of all this cold water?
If this is a rescue,
which one of us is in distress?
I digress, regress, remiss, dismiss,
it’s just that the way the sun rose this morning
looked more like opportunity than light-scour.
My love, a burden,
and you, the witness,
and we, and we,
swallow down the burn
as if it makes us
together.

am kennedy, “Solidarity”
(via siilentiary)

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Let it go, you know,
that woman has never tucked you
into anything so safe as a bed.
She said, i love you,
but that’s not what she meant.
The cement in the bottom of your heart
means that sometimes you
sink faster than you swim,
but then again the brine
tastes better than tears,
better than all the fears
she read you as bedtime stories.
You’re a bad buoy but a good sailor,
a turn of tides that would
make a grown man weep
could he see how carefully you keep
your head above water.

am kennedy, “The anchor tattoo”
(via siilentiary)