I’ve been running for as long as I can remember because I forgot when I started. I forgot where, too. My feet are pounding against pavement like secret code. I inhale fire. There are ashes in my lungs, and exhaling only brightens the coals. The sun rests in my throat and I long for a finish line. My ears pick up breath some distance behind me. I don’t dare turn my head, but I know it’s you- I can tell from the heaviness in your gaze. Exhaustion begins to consume me, but you’re sprinting like hell. We’re side by side now and our shoulders polarise like moon to tide. You’ve always said slow was never an option, but it wasn’t until this moment that I realised, for you, I wouldn’t mind coming in second.