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[on fleeing]

Faced with the decision to run or do battle,
I pack my baggage and walk
away.
Away,
into the night, fully clothed, tempting fate:
“She must be asking for it.”
I walk through my breath
as it hangs in the frigid air;
it begs me to come back.
I reject the safety
my mother should have warned me about,
instead favoring streetlamps
and caution floating on the wind,
as it ought to, if anything proper is to get done around here anyway.
Walking away,
away.

Chaffed skin and chapped lips return home,
never as triumphantly as originally had been hoped.

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