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self-portrait as immolation

Cheyenne Ávila

when you were born

your mother found

the love in you

torrid, reached for you

but pulled her hand back

sudden and afraid, snuffed

all love between you

to a cinder, which you

kept alive in secret, encased

in flesh and blisters.

Cheyenne Ávila is a poet, performer, and failure from Bellflower, California.

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