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portrait of a portrait of a man who is not my father

Poetry, Dallas Knox

we're born in an instant

from imagination to sterilization

gasping for breath in frigid air

when was the last time you felt alive

can you hear my hurt thumping

pulsing unafraid

bleeding blue

like good hearts do

before they learn

what lies in the shadows

is not a creature

green and scaly

not a ghost with glowing red eyes

but a piece of themselves

they left a long time ago

sitting on the edge

on a windowsill of a window which never opens

collecting dust

collecting dreams

collecting despair

have some empathy will you

he hasn't been warm

since he was ousted from that cavern

thrown into unrelenting arms

who squeeze and squeeze and squeeze

and he thinks he's going to pop

he know he's going to die

can't you do anything about it

say a few comforting words

disguise a poem as a eulogy

choke down your tears

and swallow the sobs

that claw at your throat

like a bug bite

begging to be felt

in a world so numb

don't they deserve a life too?


Dallas Knox is a 3rd year at the University of Chicago studying religion, gender, and sexuality. Dallas is an unabashed lover of their home state of Tennessee, Toni Morrison, tea, and their girlfriend.


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