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In the Dark, Repetitive Coughing

Arlene Ang

Sometimes it is enough. Julia places her hands on the glass rooster. [1] There are jagged cuts in the sculpture that show where she is still possible to hurt. She sees again her father as he sliced the cockscomb with a blade before feeding it to the rooster. [2] Cancer is a bird of beauty. She is swallowed by the world that isn't watching. Her brother stands with a strange haircut. [3] In dreams of dying, there's a percentage of people who never wake up. She's been here six years. [4] When her family visits, they hug-ghost to ghost-and feel all the more foolish for taking indoor pictures with empty cameras.

[1] Direct application of heartbeat on non-living subjects with the heartbeat intended
to probe for life signs or, lacking such, self-violence.
[2] To partake of one's own flesh, raw, is to partake of courage-indicative of war, its
presence in the flesh.
[3] Contents of his stomach: addiction and car parts.
[4] There are many substitute words for love.

Arlene Ang

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