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Give Me All This Without by Ro Nowak

Give me all this without the philosophy,
Without the Germanic words sprinkled in,
Laughable to anyone for whom language
is more than an embarrassment,
more than a shameful brick to build
transcendent castles with.

Give me all this without the transcendence,
Without the pathetic aspirations of a
Wannabe-maleficent entity who has never
transgressed against its better judgement;
crossed boundaries with the inevitable
single-mindedness of someone who did not
notice they exist.

Give me all this without the misanthropy,
Without the low-effort microwave meal hatred
A joke unless you, too,
have taken up the knives in sweet violence;
felt your sword-clasping arms get heavy
and yet never loosened your grip.
For this world, for your love, for your
right to brutality.

Give me all this without –

But never take away the fire:
I inhabit the charred ruins,
the blackened beams, the shrill shapes
of what once stood.
Bitter ash carves the taste of my
rage deep into my mouth, my throat, my lungs.

is not something I ask you to do.
Give me all this without
is my warning, my promise,
before your weak principles turn
to cinder beneath my gaze.

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