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steel shoulders, stone jaws
trying to be. a man carves,

peeling back to that layer of
love only for things

rather than pouring his soul
he is one piece of himself

my skin was too soft,
no plan to reconstruct

the world,

i cast myself in iron,
slicing his self away

unfeeling sublime.
which cannot love him back.

into your empty arms,
rubbed raw over

all i found underneath,
this body. i must count

people & blue jays,

swallowing pebbles
no smiles & damp eyes,

he can scream silently &
if you kiss him, he strikes you

just know he is alone.
a lifetime. i know now

blood & warmth & tears &
my parts that connect to

myself & a man.

Julien Blanchard received his BA degree in English from The College of New Jersey, where he received the Holman Award for the highest level of academic academic achievement in the department. He is a previously unpublished poet and currently working as a writing consultant. He will be pursuing a JD in environmental law in the fall of 2021.

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