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A Woman, Circa: With Her Shoulders Back

Everything was bathed in something. With her shoulders back, she presented herself to worlds and men and, sometimes, women. With her head tilted up, slightly, to the left, slightly, she split her face along expertly crafted lips, unveiling expertly handled teeth, to smile.


What a wonder, to watch. She ached as she walked, almost taunting you with your own desire. With her shoulders back, she glided.


The mornings were the best. She woke up extravagantly, regal shoulders pushed back by sunlight, bathed in a warmth that didn’t quite sink into her skin. Eyes wide, outlined in liner, she stood against the wall every morning and breathed. Watching the world in those large windows she liked so much. Chanting to herself.


I will accomplish.

I will acquire.

I will achieve.


And every morning she breathed these deep breaths, lungs expanding with the ease of a practiced swimmer, arms held back. Regal. Bathed in warmth. She ached. She arched.


The day the shot rang through the window, piercing her stomach, sending those pretty eyes wide and aflutter, she was standing in the same spot as always. Her surprise was no less lovely, her death no less regal. She slid down, hand over the wound, and repeated her chant.



I will….I will…ac…acquire…



Regal. Bathed in blood. She didn’t dare slump, not even to die. So she perished as she lived.


With her shoulders back.