Pull my headphones on like loneliness wears a cloak, watching strangers sway with pedestrian grace, all of them intent on their intentions. The Tango Saloon ply their rhythms in my ears while I apply it to the streets, dissonant beats and business feet, shuffle, mill, repeat. I make sure they see me seeing them, too scared to be afraid, but they all look away. Knees pulled tight against my chest and cross my arms about them. Feel myself fading, xylophone ribs and sallow skin. Degrading thoughts like abscesses puckered on my brain. Increase the volume, drowning out the pain.

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