My water bottle still smells like the river.

I like it that way.

I stare at the sand in the grooves of my sandals under fluorescent lights.

Like a shell without the ocean’s saltwater sheen.

Fish out of water.

It’s different in here.

Cold. Lifeless. Bland. Corporate.

I scream internally where no one can hear.

For color. For the outside.

For all the “inappropriate.”

Like an eleven year old with a matured brain.

Expected words tumble out of my mouth,

yet my mind remains fixated on river water and glistening sand granules.

I order a Margaret Atwood novel in-between nods of half-attention on KPIs and retention rates.

I’m here, yet not.

My spirit’s out there, roaming, like an animal in everything.

It cannot breathe in conference rooms.


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