The Killer Poem

Poetry can kill you

when you shut

yourself inside of it.


It doesn’t want you

looking for better words

in other poems.


It wants to cage you

to the corners

of a sheet of paper.


It doesn’t want you

to breathe the thing

it won’t allow.


It wants you to use

just enough imagination

to finish it and

throw the overflow away.


For the time you write it

it has its own imagination

that refuses to acknowledge

that yours exists.


Until it’s done

you are it’s prisoner.


Only then will it open up

and let you breathe,

let itself breathe.

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