This ink itches under my skin,
colours bleeding their way out of life
too short to enjoy yet too long to begin.
These substances are not who I am.

Still-warm fumes twist to fit into
sharp inhalations. Even with a knife
it takes me four tries to get through.
These substances are not who I am.

Fluids dilute within my veins.
A riot of chemical destruction runs rife
inside me. I don’t want the remains.
These substances are not who I am.

Addictions are said to play most
people like fiddles; mine play me like a fife
without breathing, like high tide on a coast.
These substances are not who I am.

lips and tattoo

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