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we shared a brother skin.
some of me was some of him.
his unkempt hair, his oven burns.
the bruises bashed into his every word.

(did you hit him again?)

i tried to be
what you'd need,
but you wouldn't
let me in, and
i will not fight
what is finite--
you had no home;
you had a prison.

he says, "there's no pleasure."
in my defence, i wanted better.
still, i ask him to chop the onions--
i don’t want to cry in front of him.

i do not think
we can drink
enough to forgive or forget it.
i tried my best
but i digress:
we both needed someone
to trust, let in.

still, it's bigger than
what we began
we said, "yes," but
we could not usurp
so we made hurt
the only word
and in that way
got what we deserve.

wear a coat, dear, i heard it will be cold.
when you come home, you can take off your clothes.
all i ask is: admit you're a coward.
all i ask is: when you scream, scream louder.
reduce it to a single, useless word.
say it loud even though you won't be heard.
what is the body without organs of a book?
a jaw, a jar, a gesture that i could--
between bars, bar-fights, desire, duct-tape,
parades and parks, a river becoming a lake--
i know i said: simultaneity, but
i cannot be you, and you cannot be me.

so long, friend.

(j. mason)


from together not together, released March 19, 2017



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winter sisters Alert, Nunavut

they found two dresses in the snow.

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