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What You Must Think
Caren Lee Brenman


Greedily he drank poison
forcing down into his blood, his cells, his vapor,
ugliness as sharp as a first crack of lightning
across an empty prairie.
Muscles softened into bones
tendons and skin falling
over the glint of a dark, rough soul,
and when a voice asked
why not swallow light,
it was too late to answer
how he preferred his darkness,
where unworthiness melds with dirt.

Caren Lee Brenman has always been a poet because she cannot make sense of her life otherwise. Her poems have been published in Philadelphia Stories, Contemporary American Voices, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, and Write Your Block Philadelphia.