One word. Thirteen letters.
She can feel them cascading, tripping off her tongue as she sounds each syllable.
She feels it double into twenty-six years.
Feels it fold itself into her being.
Comfortable in her discomfort.
Face value. Face blind.
Facial confusion of her own doing.
Knowing not whether to smile, to frown, to turn and run or stay.
Undeniable. Indelible.
But not ineffaceable.
A wearing past that sets in stone the path of her present.
Predicting her future in precision and panic.
A mental note. A silent command. A wish for still, for pause.
A sea of faces surrounding her, surging past like waves withdrawing.
Each forgotten as quickly as the glance that brushes over their features.
Her future panic becoming a present.
An anxiety wrapped, its bow tight to the surface her skin.
Beneath her skin. Not quite butterflies.
Nothing as beautiful.
The wings of a moth flapping in the wind as moments fly past.
As windows fly past.
Insight into a person’s soul.
She catches a face, ghostly and shear.
A sliver of sense shows but recognition hides.
She stares but it never comes.
A sound. A saving grace, an audible signature, a radio head.
She feels her eyelashes, a brush along the top of her cheek.
A wish to live a life with eyes blind.
A clean slate.
A life lived through her ears, to let noise drown out disquiet.
She moves her lips. She watches as the ghost copies.
Watches as it shapes each syllable, returns all five.
A mouth’s momentum.
As one word, thirteen letters, trips out of her own reflection.
And falls between her two halves.

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