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Below is the poem entitled Rotten which was written by poet Kylie Routley. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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His lingering words
leave the air stiff
and stale
as if his breath were rotten.

Their waiting eyes stare
penetrating my dilated pupils
until I look away,
letting them figure out for themselves
the response they knew,
or thought they knew,
I was going to say.

I cannot look back
into those eyes
full of pity
and pain.
Two things I need
no more of.

Turning around
I find myself staring back at you.
There's something different about you,
and even though I know
what it is
I hesitate to admit it to myself.
I like looking at you
because your eyes aren’t like the others.
Not full of pity.
Not full of pain.
Not full of anything at all
but really rather empty.
That's what it is
that's different about you.

My eyes start melting in my hands.
not melting...
what is this liquid I am holding?
Is this tears?
Could I really be crying?
Maybe, but I'm not sure.
I've never experienced this before.
Shame fills me as I stand
in front of all these people,
and the only person I can tell this to
is you
because I know you'll never tell.
You're never to open your mouth
or your eyes again
after they close the casket.
After they lay you into the ground.
While you lay there and rot
I cry all alone
and I know
no one will know
because my secret lies with you,
safe behind your rotting lips.

Copyright © Kylie Routley

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  1. Date: 3/29/2009 2:26:00 AM
    I'm surprised no one has commented on this...I picture this being read somehow at a wake (no offense taken by any basis on reality in the piece), and a chilling air following the rpoceedings. Deeply moving, and tense in its scattered structure.