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Murray, hair the color of bad weather, sleeps at the New York Public Library. Murray: age 8, fatherless, loves books about Egyptology- he reads them under flashlight when everything in Manhattan goes quiet. One librarian leaves wax sticks behind the bookshelves, and Murray- fingers coated in goldenrod, cerulean, carnation pink- calls them his treasures.

A body stuffed with chicken feathers, he always walks over his feet on the way to the park. He makes a point to feed the ducks: Anubis, Osiris, Horus, and Ra- never confusing them, like his teachers do with him and the other boys; the ones who stand taller, and bend Murray at the shoulder on the schoolyard. Scars etched into the cartography of his skin, he always pulls his sleeves down and moseys along, into forever.

When winter stops stifling him like a womb, he is caramelized into delight- he knows that he doesn’t have to wear his moth-bitten coat. But it’s December, and he’s waiting for the subway. Big men with ties and briefcases tower over him, barely noticing a small patch of boy below- but it’s alright: every stranger makes him feel safer, and every person seems more and more vibrant.

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