I’ve tried laughing it off. Ha-ha, I’ll say, isn’t it funny how much this hurts? Teeth gleaming; all bite. I’ve tried leaning in close, mouthing greeting card words that coat my tongue in plastic. Hugging and nodding and armfuls of lilies. But won’t they die too? I’ve tried four pizzas at once, and then better hydration and more sleep. Still, I’m tired. Has it only been 12 hours? I’ve tried step-by-step articles on how to heal a wound; I even cut my heart out to follow along. It only keeps bleeding. I’ve tried showing somebody else — you see, there, how do I close that hole? But the stitches unravel. Slide down onto the cold tile in the shape of a grin. You thought that would work? I’ve tried drugs and tattoos, but they only make me hungry for our favorite Asian place. Your jokes. I just want to appreciate a hot summer day again. Stop taking stop signs so literally. I want to climb under the covers and sleep — but how can I when my bed looks like a cemetery?

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