She ran past the weathered houses,
fenced gardens, and crying dogs.
Air escaped from her throat,
and it was hard to breathe.
As her legs teared with sweat,
her eyes saw water running
through a canal.

She picked up a rock,
threw it at her reflection,
and shattered the water.

In the water,
pieces of herself dispersed
and reassembled.

She stared at her image.
Then, she turned around and walked
past the fenced gardens
and weathered houses.

She could still hear the dogs crying.

—Ann Inoshita

Talk story

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