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Symptoms

 Although you have given me a stomach upset,
Weak knees, a lurching heart, a fuzzy brain,
A high-pitched laugh, a monumental phone bill,
A feeling of unworthiness, sharp pain
When you are somewhere else, a guilty conscience,
A longing, and a dread of what’s in store,
A pulse rate for the Guinness Book of Records -
Life now is better than it was before.
Although you have given me a raging temper, Insomnia, a rising sense of panic, A hopeless challenge, bouts of introspection, Raw, bitten nails, a voice that’s strangely manic, A selfish streak, a fear of isolation, A silly smile, lips that are chapped and sore, A running joke, a risk, an inspiration – Life now is better than it was before.
Although you have given me a premonition, Chattering teeth, a goal, a lot to lose, A granted wish, mixed motives, superstitions, Hang-ups and headaches, fear of awful news, A bubble in my throat, a dare to swallow, A crack of light under a closing door, The crude, fantastic prospect of forever – Life now is better that it was before.

by Sophie Hannah
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