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by Aurora Antonovic

at five
I writhed away from my motherís softness
tore at the plush dresses she tried to swathe me in
scratched at the hand-embroidered rosettes
that delicately spattered down the front

I fought to keep intricate lace
from covering my transparent wrists,
pulled at the suffocating filmy ruffles about my neck,

my hair rebelled against gently woven plaits
wild curls breaking free before satin ribbons
could tie them down

with you
I am five again:
I contort from your tender touch
screw my eyes tight so I wonít see your pleading
close my ears to your white velvet words
relish the sharpness of my bones, my voice, my words

I am five again
and I wonít let you love me


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