It’s 7pm and the orange September sun is on the verge of setting. I lower myself into the pool quickly. Georgia is still hot but the water is chilly enough to goosebump my skin.

No one else is here. Most people lounge during the day, letting their bodies go limp in the beating sun, heads tilted back. Sometimes they drink beer and then dip themselves in the water, but only up to their belly buttons. Lazily, leisurely. This is the South.

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A Story About Release

“You’re an earth person,” said Farrah as she pushed one, two, three needles into the back of my neck.

The areas she selected were tender; my body recoiled as she pushed her fingers into the knots before inserting the needles. The twists of tension my back created made the connecting muscles jump, even as I silently pleaded with them to let her in. It hurts less when you relax, they always told me. Doctors with their vaccines, gynecologists with their speculums, and now acupuncturists with their needles. Just relax — let it in.

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