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Harlequin

March 20, 2013

thirtyeight

That joke isn’t funny.
My little baby bunny.
I’ve told it and sold it and wrung it all dry.
And, hard as I try, I can’t tell it no more.
The line’s all punch drunk, and a touch too raw.
Cause the expense is all mine.
And the pretence is slipping a little each time.

It’s all the pretty act I’ve honed.
Since I was twelve, in bed, alone.
One simple flourish that I’ve thrown.
To keep my hand from being shown.

I know you’re just a little girl.
A heart full of hope and a head full of curls.
“I’m late, I’m late” said my child to The Fates.
Fifteen years wait to my own funeral.
If only you knew.
My malice for Alice and her steadfast refusal.
To live in the real fucking world.

Cracking a joke about cracking a bone.
Fractured and foul and all coming home.
To roost in my skull where the lichen is grown.
My face cracks in the flesh, my voice cracks on the phone.
That joke isn’t funny when you’re laughing alone.

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From → Poetry

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