Benny's Rebuttal

I like how you tell me,
in so many removed terms,

that I'm falling apart -- as if

I don't know it's wrong
to savor the scent of my sweat,

or I'm not aware
that my house is the line

between what happens
when I do what I'm told

and what it feels like to collect
the names you give me.

I wear them like I'd wear
a winter coat, or just six shirts;

with enough layers,
maybe I'll feel warm enough

to convince someone
I'm not alone.



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