1989.55.12 001Man Ray


I assume guilt as if it were a halo

Knowing my flaws are apparent

With or without advertisement

And that apology is for me

More instinctive than hello


Everyone washes their hands

When I exit a room and sometimes

Just as I enter as if in baptism

I was born wrong and it defeats me

I was born ugly and so it is

That everywhere I pass

A fire is in purification set

Even as we speak

My footprints smoke


18 responses to “Smoke

  1. to think that someone would believe they were born ugly is rather heart breaking…
    assuming guilt as if a halo is an interesting contrast…though religion and guilty are far too often linked…smiles.

  2. wow. I wish I didn’t relate. I thought only I felt that way sometimes. I couldn’t have put it into words. Great writing.

  3. There is something so powerful in the way you wrote this one… It evoked such a strong feeling in me- and as someone else said, resonated in a way I wish it didn’t either… Incredible writing…

    • I wrote it after having the experience so it was quite fresh in my mind and it is an incredibly unpleasant experience one I would not wish on others. Thank you so much for your kind words

  4. The poem is very touching and heartbraking, but it is very hard for me for example to imagine you speaking it, when I myself see you as something completely different then what the words here say.

    • This one comes from a very dark and tortured place. Sam and I had a social engagement and we always stand out even without trying. It was very awkward I met some people I haven’t seen in years and they asked why we’ve not met up but the answer is because they’ve been avoiding me and didn’t return any of my contact attempts (they haven’t made any attempts either) so I just let it be so to speak. It is such a strange social thing to ask. If you are avoiding someone why confront them about their absence? i was also reflecting on my husband intense self hate and our over developed sense of guilt. So it is sort of about 2 people at once

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