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Choking on the word Love

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The doctor sits me on a table and asks me to stick out my tongue.
I do.

I ask him if he sees the paintings I carry in the back of my throat.
He laughs as if I’m telling a joke,
I’m not.

I’ve got Basquiat, Schiele, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci
so when I laugh, I taste brushstrokes.

I ask him if he can stick out his tongue
so I can see what he has trapped inside of him.

He hesitates a little then he does and I see a man who
struggles for acceptance and chokes on the word

- Lacey Roop, from “The Parts of Humans Science Can’t Explain”

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