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Regimen of Bouncing Back

Cynthia Arrieu-King

It was when I ran and ran towards that small white disk as if to catch it
It was when my friends slowly and without my knowing had changed
from lion-ugly strangers —
the kind whom you're real sorry are at your party —
to the people I had known my whole life and who had known
the whole sorry toothpaste fiasco.

I trapped up emotional dirty shirts and stared at the one true thing I could do
which became several,
which became impossible to ignore and not do:
couldn't I take down the laundry? And faster than that?

Impossible to dirty more.

I asked all the people I had been in running love with
did they love me, and one by one they said I got a girlfriend, uh

which caused me to feel pitiful and brutalized on the hotel rug for 12 seconds
until I noticed another who said, I love you but not so much in words as in the way
small leaves, greenish, complicated by reproductive tubing
can only wave in the air and wave through fear

which caused me to feel argument and lack of illumination —
that one moment you must allow yourself to touch down into the purple
the touch surprisingly restorative.

Cynthia Arrieu-King

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