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Art by Shakira Mae Austero

I walked by the shore to get closer to the sea,
to wash my feet of all the bleeding wounds
from the scattered shards on the way here.

My feet clad in naivety and vulnerability,
the sharp edges dug into my flesh,
deeper into my bones,
and found their way into the stream inside my veins.

I stood facing the sea
with clenched fists, more cautious
of the debris that might remain
from the pieces that once tore me open.

With the gentle breeze that welcomed me,
I stepped on the sand with my dead weight—
the waves rushed to meet my aching feet,
seeping through the skin,
which I thought had grown so thick.

I listened to the currents, fizzling—
as it faded along with the noise inside my head.

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