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A Boil the Size of an Egg Protruding

All I can tell you is, when the abscess finally drains
the odor is so foul it’s evil.

And I’m not sure, driving home
later that night, still smelling the pallid citrus,
whether it’s merely hallucination, the way
her memory inhabits me; or if being
in that same room, inhaling
that same air, made some of her
part of me.

And whose veins
are these, beginning to twitch?

—Peter Pereira, Her Name is Rose

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