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she is again, 

tasks piled so high, they 

 could nearly graze the curious  

  void lurking above if it 

    weren’t for the ceiling 


      that keeps them with her. 

         They grab fistfuls of her eyelashes, 

               pulling, coaxing her to drown in the  

                  growing delirium. And she wants it so bad, 


                       to let go into that sinful light, but 

                          ticks crawl up her bedposts, through 

                           her sheets, infesting her body with enough  

                               guilt and self-loathing to press on. 


                              If you look now, you can see her doubt and 

                             shame boil over. What was once an annoyance 

                           becomes a plague, joining the ticks,  


                       feeding on her flesh. Time is not merciful. 

                     It never was and it is not tonight. Dawn crawls  

                    into her dimly lit chapel while the void  

                    mocks her on its way out.  

                    “You did this to yourself.” 


                     Here she is again, the future’s  

                       newborn rays holding hands with  

                            unfinished business. Her will 

                                  near exhausted from her  

                                        system, but just wait, the 

                                               guilt always brings her back. 

                                                        “See you tonight.” 

3:08 AM

Caroline Donnem '24

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