The breakdown is a waking up
of sleeping manticores
that have no family left
beside their hollow friendships
with each other and no others
in the miles all around them.
I break the chicken’s neck
the way I heard it
so described in all her stories.
She was younger in those pictures
on the fireplace; her face
not like the mask she’s stuck in now.
The flowers in her garden are so numerous
they fight over the sunlight
like a dojo full of warriors
in peace time getting ready for a war.

I don’t go out there anymore
where everything is made
to stay the same
with chanted phrases
under everybody’s breath.
A kind of life where it is
possible to leave out
all the moments you
were hoping for.
Not all worlds
are as exciting as the next
and that is obvious
when you start looking
at the deserts
up on Mars in clear comparison
with her legs providing
motion to the swing set
always caught up in the chains.

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