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By: Danielle Hannah Aranda
Artwork by Paula Tongol

I don’t feel inspired
I’m running on nothing
Nobody really cares about me
I always seem to push people away, both intentionally and unintentionally

Nights like these, I wish I could slowly fade into smoke. I need the haze…
…something to blur my thoughts intro frost while the heat creeps in prickly skin and blushes from my cheeks to my legs.

Maybe I can do that next time…
…step into the walls I used to call home, light up the corners with afternoon vibrancy, and pray for an ounce of whatever it is… perhaps a lacking brain chemical that would make me feel like an “adult.”

I don’t want to, really. I’m a thing of nostalgia and sentiment that refuses to age, but still, the pain gets to me and it never subsides. So, I let it fester…
…Convinced myself that all things should have the right to grow. Pain doesn’t seep into my veins just because it can; doesn’t crawl and climb by numerous vines in the sole name of anatomy.

It’s survival, and it has come to eat me whole, but never alive.