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The two most curious words in English are "what" and "if" –
innocent enough in solitude,
but paired together,
they latch on like magnets in the back of your brain.
They burn under the surface of your skin,
where the real wounds still smolder.

You can never really guess where they might turn up,
tiny cups in their trembling hands
as they beg
where the streets intersect,
resting in the corner of all our hearts,
curling and uncurling their fists.