by Keleigh Patterson

    I know a man,
    Whose life consists of tall tales,
    Forgotten tasks, and imagined slights.

    I know a man,
    Victimized by his own stagnation
    His unearthed desires --
    Buried in always fresh fear.

    I know a man,
    Who believes in clenched fists and angry slurs,
    Instead of warm hugs and words of praise.

    I know a man,
    who befriends failure while running from success,
    Like an escaped convict --
    Lurking in safe shadows.

    I know a man,
    Who relishes the telling of lies
    Untrue words ease off his tongue --
    Like a lazy feline basking in afternoon sunlight.

    I have met this man -- countless times.
    First, in the face of my absentee father,
    Then, in all of the faces of men --
    Who embody my inability to love myself.

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