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Alyss

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diaries of a grinded battalion

I.      I’m not doing well with pressure.
But tell my mother
I always have second helpings of propaganda,
boots wear me well with stockings
and I don’t talk to the boy in his father’s medals.
Don’t tell her
that I’ve trench foot from feeding off the wrong wars
that I’ve been drafted into the sky
but it is falling.

II.      It came overnight.
slipped through bedframes and echoed off doors
it came as a eulogy with a better ovation
than the best man’s jokes
and my home became the kind that kids
throw eggs at, the kind that pleats
when widows pass by.

III.      I’m as clever as well-worded love notes;
everything seeps through anyways.
of course, they are not answered, but rather
preserved into tin-can scraps. there is ink
bleeding through my sheets: these are not
the whips and gore I know most.

IV.      I don’t know what to do with my hands anymore
when rats are rationed and the men are not.
they both twitch when dead,
writhing some form of communism.

Farah Ghafoor

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