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It is only painOn your feet, soldier, up once again
Only dogs die lying down
And we won't be dogs to others,
cuffed and collared
no, we'll learn to howl like wolves do.
On your feet, now,
it's all in vain,
to whine and to cry out,
this is only pain:
Stuck on your skin like dirt and dust.
Your spine will twist under all this,
love and other earthly things
But never break, never bend:
No one remembers those
who quietly bowed their heads.
You'll get by, if it's with teeth and nails
drag yourself from the deep
Only dogs die in the shadows.
Those who held you down on your knees
With your jaw broken and tongue tied:
all of them will be dust
with the time.
And your bruises will heal
All the scabs will peel
Your dreams will all wake up
And your shadows take form.
So once more unto the breach,
It will pass like spring, thirst and rain
So stand up now,
it is only pain.
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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