Stage Five

Don’t believe me
When I say I’m okay

I’m just waiting for you to contradict me
(and when you won’t I draw the knife a little farther)

Don’t you see the blood?
(and when you don’t I dig the knife a little deeper)

Can’t you see me wince?
(and when you can’t I twist the knife a little harder)

Make me stop!
Make me stop!

Is what I would cry if I could bring my trained lips
To stop singing, “Fine, I’m fine.”

How many times have I chanted borrowed words:
“Not waving but drowning, not waving but drowning”?

And how many times have I watched you,
Standing on the shore, waving back?

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