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TWENTY-NINE CENTS (THE PRICE OF A BULLET)

I knew you needed something, so much of something.
Oftentimes you came to see me, you were reaching out.
Charlie, how could I have helped you?
You hid behind a protective facade,
a callused shell weathered by time,
that encased your fragile surface.
Your hot tears fell upon cold stone,
shed in silence, always shed alone.
You kept buried within your heart
so many concealed secrets
muted tales left to decay within your soul.
Like the abused child who draws a picture
of a face without a mouth,
so it cannot reveal the truth.
Were you that child?
Argumentative and insulting,
poor pathetic but sensitive you.
How could anyone have known that?
You were so busy choosing to banish yourself
in social solitude,
an uncontrollable way to hide from the pain.
I saw the pain, but the shell was much too thick,
the tower too high,
for me to reach.
As hot tears fell upon cold stone,
still too big to ask for help,
too small to let it be known.
So it was, one cataclysmic night
for 29 cents,
you invested your life.
As hot tears fell upon cold stone,
Charlie, you died alone.
Linda Miranda Fix
LINDA MIRANDA FIX lives in Corfu.

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