Paper Menagerie

I am a frosted thistle
beady eye
beneath the dark abyss
parched lungs screaming
crying scratching for
sound to a breath.

My dirty fingers
dirt beneath the nubs
for nails
scratch softly at the parchment
soft supplication for
a squandered dream.

do you understand me? do you, because i don't. i never did i never knew i never understood the flesh, the rules, the angry looks and haughty stares, the glare and callous ramble of a lip upward, upward, just to smirk at me. who are you? haughty, pious, lost little man, lost, lost in your own world, your own conglomeration of seaside paintings, fireflies and forsaken dreams. how many dreams did you forsake for me?

i can't stop thinking in black and blue. the other colors fade, less important pralenes and softer pastels stuck to my fingertips. i bartered for this gift. i bartered for a piece of understanding, an expression, a way to slip these feelings, senses, wants through the bars and let them escape while i wasted in this prison cell you made for me. you made. you.

who are you? here you are, before my cage and towering above me like some king upon a pedestal, glowering hot vision seering hair. press my nose to stone again, this ground smells like dirt, like dirt and feces and the bones that clicked here a thousand times before my withered hands could trace their cracks. dried and weary bones. how thick is your skin, how hard would the knife have to be to cut through, to cut straight through veins and bone and finally reach your heart?

oh that's right.

well nevermind, then. not that it mattered to begin with, you, you holy unholiness, hypocracy embodied in your brittle smile. it isn't like that. it isn't like me, like you, like them, the mindless drones, you see them, you associate with them, you pluck their strings for a few sharp moments just to hear them sing for you.

i won't. i'll never sing for you.

is that why i'm here? is that why you're towering over me? you can't stand it. i'm supposed to love and obey, love and obey, silent child mocking her own shadow, pencil shavings tucked beneath this prim little dress you gave me. pretty dress. thanks for the dress. i'm not wearing it for you, not for you, but thanks for the dress.

did it ever matter, ever, somewhere far beyond this rhyme and reason and logic amiss, all my logic and never a single shard of logic to match your ego. your logic. sorry. of course. yes sir. no sir. thank you sir. god is great. god is good. let us thank him for this cage. this food. of course, sir. sorry sir. damned and double damned, well here i am sir, does this please you? how can i please you sir? how can i help you? what would you like from me, this twisted, broken mass of flesh pretending to be human? i'll bow for you, i'll smile for you, i'll starve and slave and die for you. what's that?

no sir. i'll never sing.

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