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Phrases with Teeth

By swoopingpigeons, orangeburg, NY

It used to be
You & I
Before words
Took scissors to the symbol.
You took an eye.
I traced the incision
And cut on the dotted line
Like third grade.
I dangled your heart in hand
And let it hang.
I did the same in ninth, but with love
Without it, we were hopeless.
I first heard Hammurabi’s code
In a fifth grade history lesson.
I didn't know then it was unequal
It had sounded fair to me
The words must have made me
Forget all that.
Because I said,
Eye for an eye
Tooth for a tooth
And then tore the heart
That wasn’t mine for tearing
From your taunted soul
And haunted body.
I bore a hole with one phrase,
The merest insinuation
That someone else
Had replaced our

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