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Aria

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She pushes her diaphragm in and out,

the rise and fall forcing air through her lungs

with rigorous precision.

Muscles burn, unused since college

when weekends were spent astride Puccini.

Her mouth stretches at his command,

a wide oval, to impress him.

Rising up, thick and undisciplined,

her tongue bobs against her soft palette

before she pushes it forward

to stick to dry teeth.

Then, somewhere within her ribcage

builds a slow-blooming madness,

carried to the surface– airborne–

before settling like a glittering refrain

on his face and shoulders.

The studio remains still,

filled only with acoustic echo.

Then his hand slowly moves to his face

to rub her in.

-Kathryn Cody

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