Soft Tenderness

Memories don’t speak directly to me

i’m afraid to confront-

stare down, dominate an omnipresence

that can melt me to the bone.

choosing instead to find

the Parallel Words

that can float besides me, drifting from marrow to palm

i pluck them, like a single petal

crushing thorns, pulping gritty texture

until all remains is soft

squished

a fragmented ball

so i can stroke the parts that feel soft.

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