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you forget who
you’re talking to
sometimes.

the eye tends
to drift
while the heart
stays hidden
in the breast,
protected from
words spoken
out of turn or
out of tune.

in those moments
when atonement
is a million lives away,
you reach out,
like the thin,
paper-skin hand
of a dying man,

parallel to hell,
on the righteous
side of the fire.