That Summer

What if that summer hadn’t smelled of antiseptic and hospital food? What if that summer hadn’t sounded like held breath and the constant and varied beeping of life-sustaining machines? What if that summer hadn’t taught me to fear phone calls and love and losing? What if that summer had let my body house joy instead of sorrow?

What if I hadn’t been left with emotional fault lines and bone-deep grief?

What if I was still the girl before, untethered to the crushing after?

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