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Cancer (I Am Not July) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Sometimes I relate too much
to the month I was born.

It’s taken too much of me
The end of summer sends
streaks of fire through my soul
and the backs of my eyelids sting with July

Cancer, creak my fingers
as I struggle to make my pen feel
anything other than rage.

Cancer, shout my bones
and I’m cut to half my size
as they snap and make dust
I can’t build into bridges.

Cancer, shrieks my heart
as it pounds too hard for
people who don’t deserve it,
as it shrinks, weak, whispers for
people who would give me the world.

I spread like a fever,
I spread like a cancer,
burning holes of the summer’s smoke through their pristine hearts.

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