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The Machine

Illustration by Sudeepti Tucker


I gasp Throat closing up the air thick, stagnant each breath a knife to my throat My focus narrows then expands like trying to blow up a balloon riddled with holes The walls do not understand space They wrap me in their embrace I choke on them and I’m on fire like ants crawling across my skin The people around me taking up everything for themselves their words Come to me as if through a filter We can see you

Their silent judgment as loud as a scream distant with no meaning I fall Rising up and down on the waves of emotion

The light fades in, out My vision explodes and I’m overwhelmed like a machine clogged with papers before finally sputtering to a stop the light switches off The machine has broken The perfect girl is no longer perfect


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