The Chains of Custody

My God, just straighten up. Don’t cry— do not.

Just eat the fucking food. Did you just piss your pants?


The heel, the boot. Get hit by whichever

one hurts the most. My nose in corners, pink

vomit on tile. Just four years lived. Four years. Forget.


I try forgetting things. The hands. The smile.

The look. So long ago, I say. But no,

I can still taste the blood like ripe spring fruit.


I can still see the flies that swarmed the rot

of counter top meals. Meat left out— uncooked.

I can still hear your voice the day they came,

the way it cracked like you hadn’t noticed.


My God, your ribs. White socks for you. Just please

try eating. Why do you still flinch like that?

-Lu Terlikowski


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