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without shaking

I hurt my lungs in the winter time. I cough hard in the hallway, spit blood under the stairs. I take slow walks in the sunlight and hope it helps the efficiency of breath. I grab a piece of colored chalk left by the neighborhood kids and write a poem on the sidewalk. I write a poem about death and loneliness of American cities and leave it there on the sidewalk. I purchase food and medicine at the 7-Eleven. I hope the day lasts a long time. I always panic in my room, when the sun goes down. I pour another cup of hot tea, pull the blankets around me, and wait for the bad thoughts to go flat so I can sleep without shaking.

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