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April 18: Cloud bright

Sin-white curtains blow into the room and
out, taunting the window frames,
and we are all teased out and tumbling,
slumbering,
limbs splayed out, played in
a body gym. Built a connection
on quicksand
and watch it suck your body in
toes first, wiggling,
jiggling until you’re up to your knees
in missed texts and unanswered midnight calls.
She wants for nothing
but not being needed. She needs nothing
but to be wanted.
They watch the clouds turn darker
through the curtains,
translucent about what they are not
doing together. Waging love,
making storms.

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April 17: Long time coming

The crackling of branches
brought us together
near the lake,
the stones encircling the flames like a coven.
Eyes watering, limbs betrothed
to the linen sucking in the lingering waves of warmth
from the cooling evening.
The humid horizon lifting into sky,
airing out, thinning into a chill.
It was all we had strength for
— pull smoke into our mouths —
let it filter through our sunbaked minds,
come out as bittersweet coughs,
keep our eyes on the windows, the birds,
the lake.

It was the smoke that drew us apart, too,
though for a long time
we looked at everything but the tinder. (Eyes watering.)
We weighed it in our hands,
felt the scratch of broken sprigs
on our palms as we tried to grip it like guns,
caressed the bark before we threw it on the pyre.
We watched our boughs curl into coal
for years. Eyes watering.
Anything but the embers.
Eyes watering. Eyes burning bitter.
Only embers.

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April 16: Trying

Trying
will always be something to be proud of,
even if you fail like an elephant on ice.
Trying can be a synonym
for courage
for miracle
for leaving (or staying), but it
is not a synonym for knowing
when to let go. People that grow up
trying,
sometimes feel like they fail
when they let life do its shit.
That is not so.
That is not so, at all.
Children who grow into adults
that please, please, please?
Are not trying to become better people.
They are pleasing to become
better caricatures.

thoughts strung together by arina kharlamova

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