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we were the chosen

Midnight, I burn my fingers lighting my unborn birthday. I ask: what is your name? your color? the shape of your fingernails? the length of your lashes? your reason to live? to love?

When I am done, I leave it unsigned so it may wander without a mother like everything else I love.

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At six years, my sister and I lie with our eyes half-closed, counting the minutes, the seconds, the ropes of light woven by the lampshade onto the floor.

This late, every hour becomes a door. Which is, in essence, a division, a blockade, a thing that separates one room from the next, or one room from everything else.

And yet, the door is different from a wall in the way it also hinges at the possibility of being opened. The potential of welcome.

This late, every hour feels as though they are bricks that have walled us into the night.

This young, we have not yet taught ourselves the art of surrender. Of giving yourself to the hour so that it may drown you. Trusting that you will float up, bloated, and live again on the currents.

Instead, we taste them on our fingertips; two a.m tastes distinctly sweet, a blush of pink, while 4 is a pungent violet, strong and bitter.

I wake at noon to find that we have carved each hour onto the desk as soon as we passed it, as if to say look at us. we were here. we were here.

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It takes time for my body to forget about who I was and settle into who I want to be. It clings to the past, straddles time, places me in a constant flux of confusion, but I am content knowing when it returns to my hands, it will touch me with intention and not surrender.

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Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash

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