What doesn’t kill you makes you

obsessively check your grammar, 
makes you come back with updated lists
of why you shouldn't be demoted or fired,
nonrenewed, disinvited, sent back-
to-square-one-do-not-pass-go.
(When nothing more can be found 
wrong, proofread for mechanics.)
What doesn't kill you makes you cover 
one more hour or one more shift or
one more long weekend—shouldn't it
be compensation enough that it
didn't kill you?  And what doesn't 
kill you makes you harder
to break the next time around, 
unless the sugar binges and emotional
eating have made you dangerously
soft and bloated. What doesn't 
kill you sometimes makes you do 
rash or foolish things like shout
I quit! in the middle of traffic, or
run away from everything you think
your life has become without knowing
where the hell you're going in the middle 
of the night— just that your lungs
are about to burst but you feel 
alive in the cold, exhilarating air.

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