Objectively

There has been so much smoke in my life.

I toss and turn, unable to sleep. There is something missing. Something that has always been missing. A familiar hole, a memorized gap.

When I was younger there was belief — strong and sure, powerful, almost magical. Now, instead, there is knowledge. There is truth.

It is heavier, but I carry it and grow stronger.

I don’t think about the past much, not in detail, but I remember the smoke. It is hard not to remember all that smoke.

I cough into the bend of my elbow.

I try not to breathe in.

And as I toss and turn, unable to sleep, I think about my arms — their bone and muscle — how much they have carried, and how much is left to carry still.

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