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a child curls up, afraid, underneath her favorite blanket.
she has just returned from her parent’s room, seeking comfort
for a toothache burning its way through the nerves of her
baby jaw, a red slate on white bone.
she knows mom has been drinking again, but
something inside tells her that mom is
still good enough, the last lamp on a dark street corner,
the silver ring on an unworthy finger.
they have been alone for eons, it seems -
the memory of her pain is ethereal, a delicate needle tracing
through baby veins, trying to connect
to the real reason of her mom’s wanting.
there is thunder outside, and she is afraid
of sinking deeper.
a bird taps on her window.
she is not the only lonesome one tonight.