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Oily, wily.

Fairy-handed, reaching in
to skim the soul's fat.

Rat in the mouth of the man
who calls you nigger
as we exit the cab.

Making its nest of shreds in my belly
as I scream back.

Whiskered, feverish.
Or maybe winged, maybe

beaked--ravening over the suffering, glad

for the shiny scraps, gleeful.
Self-lovely thrill

of the higher reaches of air--

then getting beyond even pleasure.
Just doing the necessary

work of creating
(mite-riddled, death-mottled)

the hell down there.

--Kim Addonizio

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By Kim Addonizio