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Scorched

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Chin up, shoulders back, and a steel rod spine
Painted-on eyes, hushed and cold
she walks in straight lines and doesn’t look back.
She blinks once or twice and her brow will turn
fingers grow cold, her body is numb
she looks down at her feet and wishes all gone.
But they’re there, still there, and they stare
She keeps walking in straight lines
but they’re there, still there, and they stare.
She turns and winds her way through the crowd
glances at her cell-phone for someone familiar
but they’re there, still there, in front of her.
She tells herself it must be coincidence
but that can’t explain the staring
they keep staring, and their eyes are like fire on her skin.
She ducks her head and keeps walking
she can’t see them, they can’t see her
but someone hisses and she knows who it’s for.
He says something in a language she doesn’t know
she looks right at him and keeps on walking
and they laugh, and they stare, they still stare.
She looks the same as she leaves
and they follow, and pretend it’s coincidence
she drives away scorched, burned by their stares.



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