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The Recovery; The Relapse This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

He always kept candles, loved
to watch their silent vigil stand
bright against shadow.
He lit them, letting himself
get lost in
their seductive mirage--
only long enough to
snap out of a haze
and extinguish the light between
his fingers.
In a way,
he lived for their death,
the curling of pungent smoke, mingling
with stale bedroom air.

But he also thrived on their rebirth--
the glowing ember, sucking
breath from the smoke and
regenerating from ashes.

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