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Poetry

Chaos Theory

Sarah Daugherty

So when bleach fumes
from a rare fit
of spring cleaning
drop me into a fully-clothed sleep,
perfectly shoed,
I dream up a faceless man
with leather-gloved hands,
clipping off the beaks
of hummingbirds.

From this,
I gather
that there are
16 ways
to walk from point A
to point A
and back.

And from that,
I learn—
there are almost
as many chances
to let
the door hit me
on my way out.

But it's not a matter
of letting the door hit.
It just does. (Or does not.)
What matters is:
If there is a door,
there is a way out…

(It all made such perfect sense.)

But then I wake up
thirsty
confused, tied down
by my perfect shoes.
My heartbeat
feels wrong
against my ribcage,
and I remember:

one trapped hummingbird
flapped its wings so quick
they all but disappeared.

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