to deep-rooted problems,
you imagine me red
in a panel by your aubergine.
You spiral like a cliche—
dye your bangs blue
to comfort delusion.
I know you are angry.
You have not told me enough
how we did not fight for last words
because I ran myself out
long before you did. You think
you’re romantic! Your melancholy
may see mine, but you
could never take the bait gently.
you think of me
nineteen and bragging
about turning tricks for beer.
I think chaos is a card you pull
when saving face goes out of style.
There are infinite ways to ignore
your best friend’s desperation.
I bleach it blonde; dye it back.
I forget you and your blues.
Deviant Bates (they/them) is a Texan-Taiwanese writer and poet. Their work reflects upon experiences of madness, grief, and yearning. Their work has been published by Vagabond City Lit, Heavy Feather Review, and others. Find them on Twitter @darlingknife.
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