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Distilling Emotion

I’m ready to have my emotions taken away.

The cold needle at the base of my neck

sends a pleasant chill down my spine.

I’m unsure if it’s my anxiety draining away,

or just the feel of condensation along the tube 

carrying the distilled essence of my feelings.

I try not to think of the rich and elite 

chasing the high of experimental drugs, 

taking the most precious thing inside me. 

Perhaps they’ll taste of my compassion, 

but I know that’s not what they’re seeking.

Instead, I think of the joys to be bought

with the wealth I’m about to gain,

enough to buy food enhanced with spices, 

enough to buy hours outdoors in the breeze. 

Yet I can’t feel the happiness I should.

I briefly feel the rage bubbling up, 

at what they’ve ripped from me. 

I’m about to tear off the needle, 

to give them a piece of my mind, 

until that feeling fades away too.

Ian Li left his career as an economist and consultant, and he now dabbles in writing sci-fi, developing games, and designing websites in his hometown, Toronto.

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