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(Day 98) More. Again.

Snow, the twigs and frozen brush buried inches below crunch beneath your paws, shoot biting cold between your eighteen keratin-tipped toes, up through your long leg bones. You lift your snout, sniff the wind, catch the faintest whiff of sheep’s blood, so sweet, listen for the voices of your kin. There is only silence and flurries of white that threaten to steal the scent from your nostrils. Blood. Your stomach growls louder than you ever could. You sniff, strain, stride through the deepening powder that stands between you and your quarry. Blood. The wind batters your pelt with shards, obscures your vision. Still, you do not let go. Blood. You trudge faster, begin to sprint across the waste toward the edge of a forest. Blood. The closer you get, the louder your stomach cries out. Then, amidst the roots of a pine, you find it, half buried, coated in ice. Blood.

You dig, reveal your prize, roughly the same size as the last meal you devoured, begin to bite the ice that encases it, taste it fully. Blood. You lick, lap it up, chomp at the block in search of the meat beneath it all. Blood. The wind carries the voices of your kin. Blood. You bite faster, determined to eat your fill. Blood. Your mouth goes numb from the cold. Blood. There is a pinch along the bottom of your tongue as you lick, the most distant of pains, followed by another. To your delight, waves of warmth pour forth and begin to melt your prey’s frigid form. Blood! It splashes upon your paws. Unknown chunks fall from your mouth. You eat those too. The voices grow closer.

The more you eat, the hungrier you become, so much so that you can barely stand. Your left forelimb buckles. You collapse into a pool of scarlet mixed with thawing slush, continue to bite, eager to reach the heart of your find before the others arrive. A single bone juts from the carnage and glints in the light of day, so much like the claws swung by the uprights who have always wished for you to starve. Confusion creeps in as the heat returns feeling to the pulp that once was your tongue and you taste something entirely unlike sheep. The flurries of white begin to turn black and exhaustion replaces ferocity. Your kin emerge from the forest, their hungry eyes focused not on the glinting bone, but on you, fangs borne. You try to stand, manage only a gargled whimper. The biting cold seeps in as the voices on the wind descend upon you.

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(Day 97) Bicycle

There is the cawing of crows perched in the balding upper branches of the pepper tree in your front yard, the rhythmic spatter of a sprinkler against unpainted picket fence boards. You stand on the curb, grip the handlebars of the bicycle beside you, take a deep breath, throw your right leg over the bicycle’s frame, keep your left foot planted on the sidewalk, settle on to your seat. A mother rounds the corner and you stare down at the asphalt rather than meet her daughter’s curious gaze. You hum, play with the bicycle’s handbrakes until you’re certain you’re alone again, lift your left foot, test your balance, place it back down again, set your right heel on its respective pedal, tighten your grip on the handlebars, inhale as you push off with your left. The thin rubber tires begin to spin, gain traction, slow at first, but faster with every inch. You nearly panic, consider skidding the rubber soles of your sneakers to stunt the bicycle’s momentum. In that moment you are torn between fear of failure and muscle memories laced with endorphins. You let go, do what it is bodies in motion tend to do.

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(Day 96) The Perils of Divergence

The wind tends to bend and break those branches that grow too far from their roots.

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(Day 95) Vaulted Ceiling

It’s a wonder we don’t come here more often, a window to waves of the city’s unwashed inhabitants. They wonder why we’re here now, our faces grown foreign, their eyes tired of squinting against the sun, its light refracted through panels of stained glass shaped and stapled with tarnished brass.

But the distrust in their gazes is projected from within ourselves. They don’t care that we’re here. We’re impermanent fixtures, backdrops for the appetites that whisper in their ears and urge them from this point to the next. We’ll be gone soon enough and so will they.

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(Day 94) Index

The cards pinned
to my bedroom walls
bear souls reforged
in blue, black, and
purple ink, each
distinct portions
of a fractured deity
spread across space
and time, shards
of the divine to be
woven in such a way
that their readers
might be tricked
into learning something
about themselves.

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(Day 93) Falsehoods

There are few pains
quite like watching a man
you mistook for a prophet
plummet to the depths
of hypocrisy.

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(Day 92) Frustration

Some days the words just won’t come and I worry I’ll never be as good as when I had just begun.

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(Day 91) Labor-Induced Euphoria

I’m a Marxist wet dream fueled by caffeine, ginseng, and heavy lifting.

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(Day 90) Lazy

Wrapped in a comforter,
dead to the world, we begin
spring break by revisiting
a season past, reddit and naps
make the heat wave a non-issue,
the fan on my desk aggravating
your allergies. We drift in
and out of sleep, toss and turn
on my twin bed, drops of sweat
intermingling as we brush,
mumble in delirium,
lose hours without
a care in the world.

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(Day 89) Nerves

There is the monotonous ringing of a bell, the bustle of dragging feet and temporary farewells. You stare at your knees, back pressed to stucco, the seat of your jeans damp with morning dew, look up only when your peers-to-be have vanished, doors slammed in their wake, reach into your pocket, extract your crumpled schedule, whisper the first room number over and over, choke down a lump, rise to your feet, ignore the tightness in your stomach. A second bell rings. You stuff your schedule back into your pocket, sling your knapsack across one shoulder, trudge around each wing, count the numerals painted above each window, pause when you come to the one you’ve been whispering. Voices, laughter, the flipping of pages, the scooting of chairs. You take a deep breath, reach for the cold brass doorknob, turn, pull.

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carnalromp asked: your writing is so lovely!

Thank you kindly! Please keep reading! It’s always encouraging to hear that my work has been enjoyed.

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(Day 88) Walk, Dance, Take the Stairs

We have legs for a reason.

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(Day 87) Discipline

There is no reward like self-control, for all else is out of our hands.

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(Day 86) Comfort

My pillows still smell like you.

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(Day 85) Generosity

Please remember, it’s nice to feel like more than a line a ledger.