Self Portrait With a Gun at the Back of My Head


my skin is a camouflage fabric,
soft, disappearing——transparent

threshold leading to freedom,
immunity from you; love.

my heart is a gauze-like country
permitting entry without exit.

cigarette in mouth, I breathe in dew
into my lungs and exhume forgiveness

everything that concerns the heart
is heavy; burden that you cannot see.

in the family photograph hanging
on the wrong side of the war, you can

see the alertness of my smile. say
cheese, the type that melts

at the mention of my betrothed. the skin
cannot hide the heart when it bleeds.

Younglan Talyoung

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