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  • It was just one needle. Just
    a big armchair
    in a big empty room, and
    just me, a tiny little girl
    with a tiny little needle,
    slowly, steadily,
    unwinding.

    The nurses
    tugged at my hair and presented to me
    a metal basin
    (clean and impersonal).

    Someone sweeps my hair back, removes
    the basin. It'll be all right,
    Zoe, you're gonna be
    just fine.
    They don't talk about the weeds
    sprouting in me, or
    the pesticides that splash over
    into the new blossoms.
    I want to mention it, but
    shh, Zoe, it's gonna be
    just fine.

    I'm left to watch the clock, to listen
    to the drip of my timeline
    scratched quietly away.
    The needle burns.
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