People stare at pauperism 
and men who smell like acetate.
Look down on women 
who have bruises on their faces
and wonder who gave them it
I grew up in a tic-tac house
painting white front yard fences
mowing lawns in zigzag patterns 
planting roses, buying new dogs when old ones died
grew up in a family of showmanship
be better, do better than the blood relation sitting next to you
how much you wanna bet
my drug dependence 
came as a relief to them?


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