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Ice Skating This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I.
I start out skating on the lake, my arms outstretched like they’re
hugging the air, and I am soaring, soaring, soaring
on the ice, my blades cutting up the ice with each stride I make.
I AM INVINCIBLE
until i lose control of the skates
and skid across the ice
until i slide to the area i swore i wouldn’t skate near, the area
that no one checked and
i try to gain control, but the ice under me buckles and
i fall through.

II.
Cold shoots needles up my body and under my nails;
i am so cold i can’t even think,
but i shiver, my body catapulting into spasms.
i will die here, i think. i was stupid. i need to get out.
i scream, but no one hears me
and i choke on the air.
I NEED TO GET OUT.
i struggle against the water, but
soon my arms go limp and
i know i am going to die.
i am going to die and then
i pass out.

III.
Someone drags me out of the water:
i don't know who it is,
but i feel their hands on my back,
dragging me out.
my teeth chatter. someone says,
"oh god, her lips are blue!"
i'm still shivering.
someone puts me in a blanket and
calls the ambulance.



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