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I awoke to the question: Do you know what S-E-I-R-C spells backwards? And so I answered myself: C-R-I-E-S. Which is what babies do when they’re hungry or women do when they’ve been violated or what your spirit might do upon being crushed by the cruelty of another person or simply the weight of existing. Day in and day out. The streams of consciousness now clogged with human detritus. A mucky murk of discarded prophylactics, cigarette butts, aluminum cans, and the shells of happier meals floating in an invisible soup of pharmaceutical run-off. The soul wants to fly but the economy has such innovative bondage accessories. It’s nice to be able to custom match my cell phone case to my shackles. And it’s the little things in life you need to appreciate. One. By. One. As they nick you like seventeen-thousand paper cuts. A horrible way to go, they’ll say, when you’re gone. Just before they start fighting over who gets your valuables. Like your left lung. Or maybe your platinum ring. If you’re very quiet, you can hear the muffled voices of humans being trafficked in large freight containers or the snowflake touch of human skin wafting to the factory floor from the hands of a grateful child worker somewhere off in the distance making textiles or toys for whole societies who outsource their pain. It seems so bitter prior to dawn. Before you’ve had your coffee. And had time to wake up.

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