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My hands are here now

holding yours. I read to you

stories in poorly accented German.

How can you be so small and still live?

Who grew these metastases?

The painkiller is stored in a locked box

and it has become you- your raison d’être

that does not kill pain.

It just makes it harder for you to cry out;

about the blood in your breath

about the ache in the bones

about the regret for a child

that you were, and that I was,

a mantra of sorrow that circles

around itself, like the sound of

snow on the road. Or how our

hands make us into a loop.