​I bit my tongue
and tasted my life
as the warmth of it
coated my mouth.

The words,
not healing,
became like scabs
I worriedly chewed on,
and then spit out.

Over time,
all they left
were ugly sores
I’d forgotten
where or how
I’d gotten.
Still tender
to the touch.

I probed them,
kept wondering.
How I could not,
and what else,
and how much?

Just a question
of limiting
Existential management,
as such.

Part of me
I cannibalized,
but didn’t agree
with myself.
So regurgitated
whatever sounded good,
becoming a contrarian
if not much else.

Maybe I’m
and was doing
the best I could.
Though apologies,
demanding issue,
atonement, in fact.

Bloodstained fingernails
tracing tears,
from eyes closed,
down my cheeks,
around my nose.

I taste bitterness
and salt,
as I hold my breath.
watching stars
behind my eyes,
waiting …
fade to black.
M. Zane McClellan
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