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Brake: today 
         the gaps
plane [cheek] bones 
Smiles like snapdragons through split paved paths
Smiles like humanity through institutional apparatus
Smiles like fingers forked through knuckles cracked n’ knackered
Smiles like girlhood, blanketed
Smiles like

Anticipatory deadening 

When I was young, my mother showed me how to deadhead marigolds
The head between fore finger and thumb
Floral stubble against soft webbed tissue
Brace your thumb against the neck and snap — 
We named gardening mercy

This kind of pre-emptive
Risk management
Taught me how relations bloom
Over and over
And over and over

© Megan Misztal