I WEAR LONG SLEEVES EVEN IN SUMMER by Donall Dempsey

Blue bruises
bloom on my skin.

I wear long sleeves
even in summer.

First, I lost
my smile

it somehow
floated away.

(I wear long sleeves
even in summer.)

Next, I lost
my flesh

until I was nothing
but skin and bone.

My curves…my breasts
vanished into themselves.

‘All…something…is…grass! ‘
I quoted to myself.

(I wear long sleeves
even in summer.)

The woman in the mirror
who claims she’s me

isn’t
…isn’t!

A stranger holds
my eye.

I…I
look away.

Blue bruises
bloom on my skin.

I wear long sleeves
even in summer.

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