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Battleship by Karen Anne Candelario

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

Please don’t tell me I’m any good

after every party, I hurry home

to wash myself


If I can, I will scrub off my skin

scrub off myself from me

scrub myself, inside and out

because—don’t tell me otherwise—

I am everything I cannot adore


Out in the park, when you see me spit

it’s from sucking the inside of my cheek

hoping I am less who I am every time

then I breathe in through my nose,

I try to take in anything good from the trees

because—just agree, you will eventually see—

I am everything you shouldn’t adore


Please don’t say otherwise

the missiles’ guides have been locked

I have made marks that cannot be washed


Karen Anne Candelario is an Overseas Filipino Worker and mental health advocate living in the Middle East. She finished her degree in English in 2017. She read some of her poems in the fourth session of Female First Sessions, a platform based in Dubai, UAE that aims to “celebrate women and showcase a diverse line-up of female talent within the Middle East and across the globe.” This edition of The Mark Literary Review is her first publication.

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