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cirque de la malade

— Taylor Steele

            i’m no doctor   but i’m pretty          sure this infection    has gone   to my brain.

 i slap/scratch/cry/claw            at my face    but nothing         soothes, none      of the pain gets me

to sleep. i just want   a body   that can endure        me. i’m just        looking     for a way       inside

joy:  the touch  of a lover’s hand,   a winning lottery ticket,    a country      that would prefer me

                                                 alive. just want to want             to be alive.

            i know i should have gone       to the doctor sooner,       but what is fear       if not

                    its own            diagnosis.  what could i do       with my body   ’s   failings

                                                             but call it        home.

Read more from Issue No. 25 or share on Facebook and Twitter.