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Bad Words

To me,
Swearing is defined
By its imagery.

For example
"Fuck you!"
Does not conjure up
Images of
The repulsive end
Of the sexual spectrum,
But instead,
In baggy shirts
With droopy mouths
Talking about
Picking up a f-ing six pack
At f-ing 7-11

"Shut up!"
Shows me a
Bloated yet hardened
With thick gray nails
And flat black hair
Clasping my mouth
Grinding my inner cheek
Into my own teeth.

Is simpler
And even worse.

It is the hiss
Of a dry scaled snake
As it squeezes the very air
Out of my words
And injects,
with tiny, thin, white
A thick, congealing venom
Into my voicebox.

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