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I absorb the hostility of her message as it joins the surge. 

She types with haste, hostility, incomprehensible recklessness. 

My tears mottle the screen and I smear them away.

Compassion, for some, is an afterthought; she does not withdraw.

Unstable, unworthy, unacceptable, unhinged. 

The words vanish with the touch of a trembling finger. 

Proof evaporates into fuel for gaslight humor.

I am isolated with ease, a cornered animal too weak to retaliate.

Withdraw, withhold, wither, withstand.

Since then, I shudder when I see her face in other people’s faces. 

How lucky she is that I’m not as off as she said.

How lucky she is that her name isn’t scrawled on a suicide note.

©Kaylee Schuler

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