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Right now my voice fogs outward like a cough,
no longer telling stories, telling off.

Over-used, my short-term memory,
buried in the present, yearns for the sea,
to be a pulsing star on far-off waves.

I shepherd words til every one behaves —
until I’m fleeced to skin by overwork.

Exhaustion drags me down where treasures lurk 
—a smile of gold, the glint of a locket’s clasp— 
below the water’s sheen, beyond my grasp.

Pursuit has crashed my nerves to broken stones
whose angled edges poke through skin and bones.
Self-centred ambition’s in pieces in my flesh.
It will take time to lose its wake and refresh.

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