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This, here, is afterglow.

This is the face of what it takes to achieve a goal.
A vigorous goal.
An almost unattainable goal.
A community goal. A, “it takes a village” goal.
A goal of deadlines, staring into screens, into phones, into each other’s numb eyes whispering, “Can we do it?”

Can we do it?

This face comes after days that feel like Ground Hog Day.
On repeat, again and again.
Of coffee cups, pajama pants, and desk chairs.
Of phone stitched into body like a 6th extension.

Tired Fingers.
Warped brain.
Fuzzy peach focus.
Patches of half-eaten food on plates.

Inbox: 189 unread emails
Kitchen: 20 plates, 15 tall glasses, and all the silverware piled in a heap, and lots of take-outs.

Can we do it?

This is, “Sorry I missed it” and “Lunch next month, I promise.”
This is pushing on because you Must.
When time pockets sleep and sneaks away with Here and Now.
And still, you Must.