By day the slow clenching, by night

my tongue bitten to bloody point,
harder and harder, I feel it now, and just
a little bit harder now, yes, there, okay, so
I don’t mind my own blood, no
I’m not afraid of my own blood. Hah!
So funny how I get it in the late hours now
in all seriousness how my jaw bone could break
but for the neighbors’ sake

to keep things whole, I, grown kupuna* wise,
suppress my screaming life, keep inside
the lies that time has brought me to,
not the bitter green fruit spit out sour on the earth,
but still hard, hardest the green fruit left in its time
must ripen too long, I will not harvest it, but be gone,
so it will be
by someone who comes behind.

Some walls break hands, friends, but oh,
how some hands could break walls.

*Hawaiian for elder (senior citizen)

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