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Happy Birthday

For Arianna

Today I am 17.

Born late so I’m the last of my friends to change out of the sweetness.

They all have cars but I’m still crawling.

Trying to run through the sludge but my legs get stuck like molasses.

And I think it’s normal to have thoughts of death.

That it’s a right of passage

when in reality

I haven’t named my illness

And I won’t for several years.

But today is my birthday

so will be happy

even if I have to carve the smile into my cheeks.

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