She stretched,

r e a c h i n g

to claw one hand
over her right shoulder,
to try to rub out the
that had tightened
her neck and
shoulder blade.
No matter how she tried
to flex
or press
or touch that


she couldn’t

r e a c h

it well enough
to ease the tension.
Everything felt like
there had been a windup key
into her back,
right there,
and someone was
twisting it,
jerking the gear

>   by
>     notch,

the spring coiling tighter
and tighter.

At some point,
it would


and the thrumming of her insides,
thousands of pounds of pressure
humming and singing,
would spray
an explosion of
muscle and bone


like an origami creation

,esrever ni

until she was
a flat piece of flesh,
thin as paper,
white on one side,
red on the other.


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