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  • Don’t varnish her
    and patronize us by
    removing the scar on
    her neck where the central line
    was. You don’t soften her
    you deanimate her. I want
    the snot and the bits of stuff
    on her cheek. If there is clear
    saliva glistening on her chin
    like a tear I want it left. The day
    you took the picture it
    was cloudy and the air was
    a somber blue. Don’t make
    it a sunny day or scrub
    her skin. She was mad
    that day and thus the
    jut of her chin. In one picture
    her mother kisses her cheek with
    a tender arching neck and
    our daughter looks frozen
    and thoughtless.
    Keep in mind that her
    belly and her chest
    are picketed with thick
    and thin cicatrices that
    are as immutable as the
    assymetry of her green eyes.
    Another photo shows my girl
    with slight contempt
    some suspicion
    but the beginnings or the end
    of a smile. The original
    is the perfect
    image of a goddess
    of leafy things that are
    made of ice and may cut
    you when it’s cold
    but caress you as they melt.
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