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The air thickens
throughout the day, stays
thick hours after dusk.

The kind of call
that leaves her exhausted
at the edge

of an unguarded rooftop
31 stories above
graffiti-scrubbed pavement.

As the gap between
exhales shrinks
she welcomes the disorientation

not the elevated
burning inside.
31 separate stories

she doesn’t know
how to tell
without interrupting herself.

Claustrophobia in this wide
open space means
only one thing—

utter confinement
within her
own skin.

Merely an optical illusion
that she can touch
the horizon

where the river
and bay meet
with her fingertips.

Merely a dream
that she has only one
way out.

She can open the hatch,
climb down those metal stairs.

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