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lucy zhang

She gives birth to prickles.
She births them with noble purposes: you are designed to protect.
They line stems as hooked daggers.
Her babies protrude from the epidermis, spread until the surface is more prickly outgrowth than sweetness.
What she doesn't mention is how her children curve down, hooks waiting to sink into neighboring plants, monopolize sunlight, starve out the others.
Don't grow up too pretty, she tells them, an over-concerned mother whose uterus only expels the ugly.
Don't grow pretty.
They house fungi, sporotrichosis, a last line of defense, because she will not be there to protect them.
She has never been there to protect them.

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