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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. His latest books: “Leaves On Pages,” “Memory Outside The Head,” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.


Trigger Warning

You don’t believe me.
Not even when I show you my bloody wound.
Or play my tune on a squeaky violin.
And when I speak the language of truth,
you hear it as some obscure lying dialect.
I swim out beyond the shark nets.
I stand out on the building ledge, thirty floors up.
I’m willing to die just to make my point.
But you don’t reckon there’s any sharks in these waters.
To you, gravity is the ultimate falsehood.
I write it in huge letters across the sky.
And you figure, how small of me.
I say it with the springtime and the celestial music on side.
But to you, it’s dead of winter, a gruesome dirge.
And if certain syllables are gifted to love
then they are the ones I use.
But you just reassemble them in your heart.
Displeasure is the best that your arrangement can do.
You never will believe me.
I could sacrifice myself in the name of what I say
and you’d etch into my tombstone,
“Lies are nothing without their ritual.”
Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother.
Now that’s a lie.

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