Saturday 2/16/2008 12:32:00 AM

Talk louder the mockingbird said. Your Atticus isn't very convincing. I was there. I saw everythhing, but the words are more than I can lift. We were in the attic. Scoring the last window left to break. Throwing our lives hard at absent strangers.

Groins grinning broad in permanent marker. The mockingbird's song tracing around her shifting skin. Truth taking its photographs. Destroying the negatives. The lawyer with his speech interrupted. The victim on trial yet again.

Talk louder. Let me listen. The mockingbird begged. I have nothing without the songs of others.

Like anyone, I can only give as much as I've been given.

The attic. Plastic forks weighing the meat left after all the flesh has been taken.

Plastic forks weighing nothing. Chemical burns at the beginning of every conversation. Neglected acids trying to convince us to use them.

Little band-aids taking with them so much skin.

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