I am not the years of stifled silence. I am not anything that mingled within his drunken breath, not any word that eeked out between his hollow smoke whispers. I am Mandy, not of Devin&Mandy–just Mandy. Writing those letters feels like blasphemy burning up the ridges of my throat. A slur. An indignant prophane slander against my blood. He is the scraping off–a hot brand soldering down a birthmark.
I come from a long line of strong women. A tall testament to stubbornness and vulgarity. We’ve been snuffed out candles but I still smoldered. I burned through the choking smoke–a sunburn mocking your skin through low fat clouds.
I am descendant of drunks, drugs, and degenerates on gilded platforms with diamonds on their lips. I tiptoe that line. In stilettos. On wine.
I am made of anxiously scrawled scrap paper but I am not the dog-eared paperback someone won’t take home. I’m the fucking gold-leaf cornered anthology. I am every volume, dusted regularly, displayed in an antique cameo cabinet with fancy feet. I deserve to be read. Every word.

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