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I Did Not Keep Your Letters

I read them,
and then I threw them in the trash,
but make no mistake, I read them.

I swallowed them whole.
I filled my eyes with every word,
I sewed them in patterns
into my flesh of my body,
at night I wake to entertain the ghosts
lounging in my bedroom
with impromptu recitations
of your letters, of your thoughts,
of the shape of you in words

but I could not keep your letters.

I could not let them languish
in a dusty box, fermenting
into poisons in the closet dark.
I could not let them lie in wait,
like coiled paper vipers
ready to strike the hand that strays
too far and stirs the den.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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