sits outside the building where i work. he waits. we're not friends. you and me. i think. click my phone. open. closed. open. tuck the clicked end under my nose. stare. pace the story of every norwegian folktale i've ever read to try to get to the part where the loser child becomes the hero and rules the kingdom if he's living still. but the dog turns me into the maiden locked in the floating castle instead. forced to marry the monster. and i have to look away. first. your smile makes me feel minimized. down the path from the building where i work there's a trash can that says: this is killing me. when i try to look at you. let you in. when i do. now. i think i might know exactly what it means.


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