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my friends ask about you as if your side of the bed still ain't on fire
the closet is a furnace that almost killed us both
my cousins still joke about our relationship
trace their fingers over scars they cannot see
or pay their weight in rainy nights, with warm meals to understand
i swallow the pain in silence
it is all in fun, right
they cannot possibly know that black boys with black sisters can't be strong all the time we cannot be both the punchline and the applause
the memory of us dangling from the door & hurting the way we did making habits and then breaking that shit as if you were substance to be abused as if i was just flesh and wasn't also tired
while the soul smolders in a past fire to make mockery of
what heaven offered us to bear a smile