he sees how the cycle could end.
He thinks of all the ways it might work:

A gun to his head.
A tire iron to hers.

He imagines what it would be like
to be free:

What joy he would taste.
Nothing at all but blood

as he drops to the ground,
boneless and gone
before his eyes even shut.

Maybe it will be wonderful.
Maybe it will be nothing.

For now,
all he does is dream of the day something changes;
for there to be a promise of better than this.
Until then,

he courts the razors
and the bullets.

He talks sweetly to the poisons
and he kisses the dangerous ones
who could take all his choices away from him,
if it came to that.

He knows this too shall pass.

He thinks to himself

Talk back to me. Trust me; I'm listening.

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