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We run until it hurts too much to take in another breath
My breath is a thin jet of smoke, in the cold winter
morning
Drifting from my lips
The sound of our footsteps beating the hard-packed
snow is inviting
And then, all at once, we all fall
We fold into one another
Every joint in our bodies collapsing
Like a folding chair,
My knees, my waist, my elbows, until I’m down
Till my ankles are her ankles
And her calf is mine
And we laugh
A pile of marionettes,
Waiting for strings to be pulled up again,
In a happy dance

Running Astrid May Steiner-Manning
Astrid May Steiner-Manning, 12
St. Paul, Minnesota

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