Patience, in her wide arms she gathers me.
Soft-lipped and sleepy-eyed, come
says she, stealthy as time,
to the light side, to the dark side
and the side with diet Coke,
cold chicken and cyanic nights;
to a tent town with sluggish air,
long-shadowed and sere;
slum city for leftover souls
who sit themselves down in the tortured grass.
With overcast eyes and trembling hands
they pick at the loose skin of a tattered past:
am I beautiful? Am I now?

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