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by anthony hagen

I’d known you for the longest time (as long

as anyone, really) when I realized you contained

a complex social order within each strand

of your hair. When you began understanding

the histories, you self-regulated every citizen

inside your gums, your fingernails. “Make no mistake,”

you said, “we’re talking about human beings here.”

Your words carried the weight of decree. I believed you, was the scary part. Your words carried the weight

of voluminous histories. There was a human being somewhere quite close to me and I was suddenly terrified beyond belief. “I’m at war with myself,” you whispered

in my ear. Dreams of peace populated us,

and I flipped back through your entire skin.

Anthony Hagen holds an MFA from Hollins University. His writing appears in for is forthcoming from Sharkpack Annual, Flock, Two Hawks Quarterly, Landfill (Ursus Americanus Press), Caliban, Boston Accent Lit, Clarion, Bird’s Thumb, The Hollins Critic, and DenimSkin.

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