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Paper Lungs

 and some days all this air in my lungs feels less like a gift and more like a burden,  

a challenge to prove I am deserving of each and every lungful, 

and I am far too tired to live in order to prove a point. 

 

and I have come to realise that ‘loving’ and ‘understanding’ are not always twins,  

sometimes they are simply strangers sitting at the same bus stop, 

and perhaps the only one who can offer me both is the person blinking back at me in the mirror, 

she who breathes in time with me, through that fragile box housed inside my chest. 

 

and in the end, I have learned that though my lungs are translucent sheets of paper,  

my spine, my spine snakes down my back,  

a thick twine of gold and broken glass,  

holding each and every weary part of me together, 

until I am able to do so myself.  

 

By Tingnan Li 

Lot's Wife

The author Lot's Wife

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