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By Clara Burghelea

I don’t want to give up longing,

these tines of invisible fork

that puncture the lungs.

Smells like linden trees in bloom,

and soap bars in between starched sheets.

Tastes like uneasiness, the way

the stomach churns and pounds

like a trapped animal.

Longing is a rusty old grater

that granulates pain.

It hollows me like a husk,

metal teeth biting at the flesh.

I never bleed though.

I write in ink bursts,

then run fallow for a while.

Small poems jammed together,

bitter-pitted and muffled,

sitting on my chest,

trying to press past lungs and blades.

Then barren days of white paper,

where longing and I cuddle like lovers,

wishing to go pristine again,

when love was not abrasive, and sober.

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