it used to be a close-held lover,

breath twinned to mine,

whispering words of survival.

now it’s a barely recognizable ex,

framing all of my decisions with

hollow hooded question marks

whose sinuous curves bely

their sinister intentions

to blacken diamonds with doubts

until they’re back to coals again.

the square-jawed assurances

of my brave inner soldiers

are broken.

now, they limp aimlessly around

raw rebel refuges

hidden behind an uncommitted rib

soon, my mirror will show nothing but

sighs, shadows +

double-edged swords

sprung from fear-forged

iron maiden kamikaze armor.

i never liked labels or definition,

but now that they’re deprived of me

i find myself

buried in cliches

and somehow lacking

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