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Literature
Bloodstain
There is a bloodstain at the top of my black and white bedsheet
and I have not removed it mostly because I can’t
and kind of because it reminds me of her.
I never thought I’d be the kind of person to burn my tongue
against another tongue. Burn, as in, scald but also solder.
His mouth smells like milk sometimes
and it reminds me of the bloodstain and this makes me heavy.
I rub sugar into my face in small, circular motions
with only four fingers — two on each hand —
and then I make my fingers kiss each other before I wash the sugar out.
I never thought I’d be the kind of person to want someone’s suicide attempt to work.
The sugar doesn’t scrub away my ugliness
mostly because it can’t and kind of because I won’t fucking let it.
I melt candlewax and drip it over the bloodstain,
three perfect dots, and when it dries up, I peel it off.
This is what it means to undress:
in the body, to the body, but never for the body,
because I peel off e
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree
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Literature
a sort of pardon
consider your skin and all that’s dwelled in it.
where did your body find the curves and twists to move like that –
within itself, another house inside of a house inside of my body.
where did my body’s skin crawl with all those fingers grasping at it?
consider my skin spread flat next to your skin, the edges overlapping.
i found a spider inside of my mouth, it must’ve come from one house or the other house.
anyway, i let him stay there.
where did your head learn to bow like that?
thank you for letting me build one of the houses on the back of your neck.
consider my chest and the fire and the red in our throats — i forgive you.
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 7 1
Literature
the game
imagine your body — not how it is but how it isn’t.
imagine two very strong hands pulling your mouth apart
until it’s a giant hole and imagine the hole your favorite color.
imagine the color spilling — trickling, really, out the sides
of your new mouth and try to taste your favorite food.
where did your tongue go?
high-five the two very strong hands for a job well done.
it isn’t easy to rip a body or invite one in.
say thank you and imagine your wretched, spilling body
on the floor of a living room that isn’t yours.
what color are the walls?
imagine your body inside of your actual body.
are you more beautiful?
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 15 4
Literature
Adam's House
Yesterday afternoon, I invited the part of me that holds Adam
in for a few drinks and now, I know why the chair
in the front room creaks apologies from its black leather.
I heard it in a dream that happened in the mocha-colored room
of the 1973 House and still,
I cannot recall why I slept there or what the bed sheets taste like.
Do I always smile like my brother, or really, only like Adam?
Tell me the shape of Adam’s Body, please,
since I can only gather his entire tongue
and even that spills from my mouth.
The time I couldn’t move fast enough,
he blamed me for the fire and all the fire took and the time I spilled coffee
I only tasted blackly, I delighted in its burn.
When Adam reads about me, he crawls to the house
to salt its bamboo flooring and sips at hard, hard coffee when he’s there.
I’ve made my bed only twice since the damn house disappeared.
The first, I scrubbed away all the dark stains.
The second, my ribcage cracked a soft “sorry” and beg
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 12 5
Literature
the shape of your palm when you reach for me
in the Cadillac that is no longer real or even mine,
the old dog sinks its teeth into my neck
and i recall the punch of desperation.
in the body that is no longer,
i create a new body and name it
The Shape Of Your Palm When You Reach For Me
and it does not like that name. it smells
too much like Cadillacs and
chasing down anyone to ask if they’re yours.
Draw The Shape Of This Tremor, this one right here,
and feel my mouth against my other mouth’s ghost.
i ask the dog its name and it wags its tail,
almost to say
Smile The Way You Can
but i still haven’t.
tomorrow or maybe the next day,
i extract a tooth from the right side of my neck and reach it toward your palm:
Whose Tooth Is This?
Whose Pain Is This?

after all this time, you hope to finally taste my skin, its salt, its smile.
not lovingly but not quite in a hurry,
i place the tooth at the base of your middle finger and drive away.
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 13 6
Literature
an outline of a human figure
I. i find a body in the clouds, point to my mother, and shout “going, going”
like a recollection of blood and moaning. each copy of Macbeth follows
the shadow of loss and i imagine the spine has bumps like a woman’s curve.
a.   years ago, i met my own shadow and it whispered “gone, gone”
between my parted lips and i tasted my thirsty, thirsty body: a melting, melting cloud.
b.   so much of my time spends itself mourning what is very much alive,
(and for that reason, too). how am i to know the shape of a knife or how it floats?
II. a woman, my mother, screams as if to say “awake, awake from the lonely fog,
my curves will not smooth” and i become the cloud.
III. next, the body blooms from a fig tree my grandfather may have planted
and here, the breasts open to a fog. a melting, melting fog.
a.   i become the body, hanging from the clouds, my mother points to me,
crying “blood, blood” and i release the first moa
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 14 1
Literature
how i pray
when i was smaller than my ambition,
i sat in the communal wheelchair at church
and commanded my brother push me
wherever i wanted to go.
last week,
i raised the wheelchair above my head
and launched it into this great big row of candles
and blacksmithed the metal into a sword
which i stuck under this great big row of organ keys
and peeled them off.
i planted thyme seeds in a red pot
the color of morning time and his fucking mouth
and they refuse to grow.
i will be warm until the pot eats the dirt.
if you firmly press a hand (any hand)
against my back (any back),
the pot will turn orange (any orange)
and taste like a burst of the most unexpected lavender
and a boy (any boy)
will become orange with you.
in a mouth (any mouth),
i do not ask.
when the candles curdled my metal,
my mouth became all the mouths
and his ear (any ear)
became a fire (every fire).
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 11 0
Literature
citrus
all the pretty girls taste like
rotten rosemary and a hint of grapefruit.
my mother stuffs the turkey every year and by that,
i’m saying, my mother misses me like a torn kidney or open neck.
open your neck wider than you did last week,
fill your throat. wide eyes,
a gentle smile like a garden.
the image of our hands on water,
(any water)
the outline the liquid creates around our flat, steady fingers.
i was older than a swarm of bees
when they drained the ocean. our smiles,
they pulsed like twitching wings.
much, much later: a tear and a swarm of tears
down my cheeks right into the open of my neck.
clementine wedges, membrane-stripped, decorate the kitchen table
and my gentle smile like a garden quivers in the breeze.
imagine: our palms on the ocean’s surface,
reaching downward as it disappears,
not even curling our fingers into the body.
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Mature content
parking lot :iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 7 0
Literature
Ice Cream
If I lived in a submarine, I bet I would eat a lot of ice cream.
My grandmother lived in a submarine, oh,
maybe 49 years ago from yesterday, and I bet she met a lot of mermaids.
You can tell by her teeth,
how many mermaids she’s met.
Do they have sirens under the sea? The screaming kind.
She doesn’t know. It would taste cold, probably.
The ice cream, I mean.
If I wasn’t born more than once,
I would’ve treated my mother better.
When you love someone enough to drown in a car seat,
you end up drowning in a car seat. Which is to say: the regret of winter
is that mermaids can’t swim in ice sheets. It tastes cold.
His mouth, I mean.
Like menthol cigarettes do in the morning time
that everyone calls night. He called me one night
because he thought he was dying.
Xanax and piano keys do that.
I heard the sirens scream and the only thing shaking was me.
I wasn’t scared or anything. I don’t get scared;
my grandmother lived in a submarine and I have her bl
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 13 4
Literature
another word for longing
climbing a mountain is just an excuse for blistered feet.
you emerged more beautiful than even my mother
and here,
i look for your lips against a bedsheet. yes,
against a bedsheet.
i come home to the version of you
doused in oil and rosey carnation petals.
you swallow the version of me
royal blue and too soft, swollen.
i don’t particularly know
the shape of your laugh anymore but amidst the debris,
i found your face. i say,
that has to count for something more than blood.
is your skin weathered, sunken into the skull?
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 8 0
Literature
lemons
once every few hours or months,
i see the dream of
you screaming and my ten fingers
emerging from your mouth.
my nails are always trimmed.
your lips rip at the corners
not because my hands are heavy,
but you soaked a lemon wedge on your tongue.
i dropped it inside my water glass,
it didn’t have ice.
he tells me now
“i like wrapping my body around cold things”
and i taste my own hand for the first time.
~
i don’t like the cold.
~
there’s something i’ve been meaning to tell you:
his hands are smaller than yours; his cheeks are warmer.
his body emerged from mine once
and he used the dirt to tend to the garden.
i bet you keep a lemon basket in your room.
i bet your tongue remains unhealed,
still stinging the roof of your mouth.
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 12 2
Literature
Rome
Caesar said
Young men, hear an old man
to whom old men hearkened
when he was young.

//
I met my father at the edge of opposition
submerged in a
Portland phone booth, paging through
I, Claudius like a devout nobody.
Yet, every prayer mouthed in his name comes true.
//
Since 1962, my father has been
an old, old man. There’s nothing
he doesn’t know except for how
to lay bricks crookedly.
//
I met another man,
who has difficulty measuring distance,
at the edge of my palm. The spear
he carried before he knew me was orange.
//
He hears color with his fingers.
//
In many ways, men have taught me
the art that is falling. In many ways,
I have become both Rome
and its dirt.
//
He said
Listen to the yellow.
It’s been listening to you, you know.
Afterall, with your laugh,
Rome would’ve built itself by lunchtime.
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Literature
my brother's hot water watergun
once, i held my brother’s hand so it shifted
beige-pink-purple-blue
and he shrieked an inaudible shriek.
i observed the gentle contortion of
cheekbone and face-meat,
and he picked three careful woodchips
from the park in which we never played,
dug the dullest into my palm,
and twisted to the right.
children, they say, are the strawberry juice
of laughter, the fruit of joy and plump little
watermelons with green veins in summertime.
when i was 9,
my hair smelled perpetually of chlorine
and my brother’s hot-water watergun,
which i swear he put all the dead cicadas in
but he always said “no no, the clear film spots
on your face are just old birthday cake wishes.
it’s your turn to be it,”
and 10 years later, i don’t know what that is
but i still like it because my brother’s hot-water
watergun always felt good on my back
in July when we took breaks from chlorine baths.
a ghost held my hand once, it shifted
pink-red-orange-blue. i was the child
who s
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 9 0
Literature
la lune
Michael said that the moon shrinks
at a rate of 0.2 centimeters per year
due to the Earth’s gravitational pull.
i held his hand the way
sticky children hold sticky popsicle sticks
and told him that
the moon is just Shakespeare’s way of saying goodbye.
“and gravity is just falling,” he says
and i blink fast enough until i can see
little popsicle juice drops behind my eyelids.
i imagine myself smearing them across his knuckles,
making him all cherry blood.
i don’t think the Earth knows where it’s going
because if shrinking is the result of just too much strength
then Michael doesn’t know where this is going.
i grip his now grape-glue juicy thumb with my fist.
“i love you with my whole heart” i say
and i don’t think Shakespeare knew what it meant
to leave something moving.
often,
i feel like i’m missing something fading
and every time he draws me to his chest,
pulls me into his gravity,
well,
i know why they call it the for
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Literature
orange
when the sun leaks blood orange,
i always find it best to lie in the trunk of the car
with the windows up.
the steam condensates the crevices of his face,
my fingers gather dew drops and salt;
saturday and drizzle drip down the glass
as he rests inside of me on a metal bed.
he rocks me back and forth like a gentle seaside awakening,
a shipwreck too close to shore for saving, and my hands
search for sails we never cast.
there is passion in this shake:
my thighs spread like spread thighs,
his sweat smeared against my mouth.
bunching white fabric between my knuckles,
i hear a train screeching against the tracks in front of us and i imitate its cry.
affixed in the sky, the sun polishes our skin into melted wax
as i pant beside him, weeping out flames.
“what are you thinking?” he asks.
“i don’t know.”
“well, what does it look like?”
“it looks hot and fresh,” i say.
“an endless stretch of burning bodies.
the brightest orange.”
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:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 11 4

Favourites

Literature
reconstruction
always cleaning up some wreckage
wiping off some mess
salvaging lost dreams, lost bodies, lost minds
constructing
deconstructing
reconstructing
re-reconstructing
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 8 5
Henna :iconahlids:ahlids 1 0
Mature content
Missing Pieces :iconahlids:ahlids 1 0
Literature
turkey butch blues
when you press yourself against the door as you unlock it,
it is almost as though you are making love to it
when you lotion the cold turkey-fat parts of your body
the hands you use are not quite the same as the ones you use to rub tension out of your new shoulders
always remember to close the blinds
when the light outside is less than the light inside
someone might be looking in
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 10 12
Literature
Other
it means:
fear
suffering
isolation
it means
when I find & choose a family of friends
it will be more a home to me than you could ever know
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 13 4
Literature
spiraling up
what I was I don't know
but I am returning
to the lens and tripod,
to the fear
but also the ecstasy,
the joy at simple things
a clarity of thought
acts I was too ill to enjoy the last time around
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 7 0
Literature
you're my favourite
30 miles isn't much but 
it feels like there are continents
growing through the train tracks,
new land forged up and out
and away
i have never wanted the feel
of skin on skin so desperately,
never wanted to hear my name fall
out of your mouth and into my
ear canal so badly
(and i never liked my bed sheets until
i saw you laying in them)
30 miles isn't much,
but it's more than i want it to be.
:iconanobrain:anobrain
:iconanobrain:anobrain 28 22
Literature
coming and going
this is the first time I've driven a car in three months
this is the first time I've lain face down in the dirt in seven years
I have been all manner of strange places
this house, the strangest of all
if there's a magic number that will make strange places feel like home,
I don't know it
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 13 3
Journal
FIRST Sunday Featurette goes to...
We are here to support artists who think with their heart not so much with their mind.
This group was established to show the world that the emotional way is not only whining or complaining but it is also the way to get favorites, comments, critism and to get help. This group can be used to your own personal gain, how? By LETTING PEOPLE SEE YOUR TRUE FEELINGS!
:rose::heart::rose:
GOOD MORNING deviants! Glad to see you are up and about the page. So it is Sunday. That means it is our first Sunday Featurette! So, who got the honor of the first one? Well none other than our member learningtobefree!
Okay so learningtobefree has 370+ deviations. Oh my gosh, such a busy deviant! Her deviation with the most favorites and the most views are "boys who love their grandmothers".  learningtobefree's gallery is majority literature. So go check it out, okay?
:rose::heart::rose:
Don't be scared to submit, this group was created
:iconRush-Of-Emotions:Rush-Of-Emotions
:iconrush-of-emotions:Rush-Of-Emotions 1 0
Literature
faintly, strongly
wake with one hand tingling, numb
fallen asleep during sleep
pinioning a bottle of ice water
gives mildest of histamine reactions on the forearm
horizontovertical hatching
Red, Green, Blue
return of jelly donut
introduction of sherbet
introduction of instant cold pack
a feeling like endless overnight camp
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet
:iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 8 0
Mature content
still the violins :iconconsolecadet:consolecadet 12 6

Activity


There is a bloodstain at the top of my black and white bedsheet
and I have not removed it mostly because I can’t
and kind of because it reminds me of her.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to burn my tongue
against another tongue. Burn, as in, scald but also solder.
His mouth smells like milk sometimes
and it reminds me of the bloodstain and this makes me heavy.

I rub sugar into my face in small, circular motions
with only four fingers — two on each hand —
and then I make my fingers kiss each other before I wash the sugar out.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to want someone’s suicide attempt to work.
The sugar doesn’t scrub away my ugliness
mostly because it can’t and kind of because I won’t fucking let it.

I melt candlewax and drip it over the bloodstain,
three perfect dots, and when it dries up, I peel it off.

This is what it means to undress:
in the body, to the body, but never for the body,
because I peel off everything until there is nothing
but even then, there is always something.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to touch his shoulders and smile,
slide his loose palm onto my bare hip and say Thank you
without moving anymore. He has not noticed the bloodstain
and if he did, I’d lie the nakedest lie until he forgave me.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to wonder
if God believes in himself or why I can see the sun,
still, when my eyes are closed, but I am.
consider your skin and all that’s dwelled in it.
where did your body find the curves and twists to move like that –
within itself, another house inside of a house inside of my body.

where did my body’s skin crawl with all those fingers grasping at it?
consider my skin spread flat next to your skin, the edges overlapping.
i found a spider inside of my mouth, it must’ve come from one house or the other house.
anyway, i let him stay there.

where did your head learn to bow like that?
thank you for letting me build one of the houses on the back of your neck.
consider my chest and the fire and the red in our throats — i forgive you.
imagine your body — not how it is but how it isn’t.
imagine two very strong hands pulling your mouth apart
until it’s a giant hole and imagine the hole your favorite color.
imagine the color spilling — trickling, really, out the sides
of your new mouth and try to taste your favorite food.
where did your tongue go?
high-five the two very strong hands for a job well done.
it isn’t easy to rip a body or invite one in.
say thank you and imagine your wretched, spilling body
on the floor of a living room that isn’t yours.
what color are the walls?
imagine your body inside of your actual body.
are you more beautiful?
Yesterday afternoon, I invited the part of me that holds Adam
in for a few drinks and now, I know why the chair
in the front room creaks apologies from its black leather.
I heard it in a dream that happened in the mocha-colored room
of the 1973 House and still,

I cannot recall why I slept there or what the bed sheets taste like.

Do I always smile like my brother, or really, only like Adam?
Tell me the shape of Adam’s Body, please,
since I can only gather his entire tongue
and even that spills from my mouth.

The time I couldn’t move fast enough,
he blamed me for the fire and all the fire took and the time I spilled coffee
I only tasted blackly, I delighted in its burn.
When Adam reads about me, he crawls to the house
to salt its bamboo flooring and sips at hard, hard coffee when he’s there.

I’ve made my bed only twice since the damn house disappeared.
The first, I scrubbed away all the dark stains.
The second, my ribcage cracked a soft “sorry” and begged his return.
in the Cadillac that is no longer real or even mine,
the old dog sinks its teeth into my neck
and i recall the punch of desperation.

in the body that is no longer,
i create a new body and name it
The Shape Of Your Palm When You Reach For Me
and it does not like that name. it smells
too much like Cadillacs and
chasing down anyone to ask if they’re yours.

Draw The Shape Of This Tremor, this one right here,
and feel my mouth against my other mouth’s ghost.
i ask the dog its name and it wags its tail,
almost to say

Smile The Way You Can

but i still haven’t.

tomorrow or maybe the next day,
i extract a tooth from the right side of my neck and reach it toward your palm:

Whose Tooth Is This?
Whose Pain Is This?


after all this time, you hope to finally taste my skin, its salt, its smile.
not lovingly but not quite in a hurry,
i place the tooth at the base of your middle finger and drive away.

deviantID

learningtobefree's Profile Picture
learningtobefree
meghedi (muh-hed-ee)
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
my prayers are praying that they reach God's ear before my past does
Interests
  • Listening to: something honest - joey hendrickson
  • Reading: the kite runner - hosseini
  • Watching: iisuperwomanii
  • Playing: violin
  • Eating: tuna
  • Drinking: water
train windowsI.
in Appleton, Wisconsin, there is a boy named Cael
who dreams of Copenhagen and draws demonic flamingo.
his spine is curled the wrong way from countless years of binding.
his parents do not approve of his gender. he loves them anyway.
II.
in Bay Village, Ohio, there is a girl named Roxy
who sleeps with her eyes open. her dreams climb
up her purple bedroom walls and sprinkle into her hair
as she watches, wide-eyed. she smiles like sunshine.
III.
in Salem, Oregon, there is a boy named Andrew
who writes poetry about the laws of physics.
he is going to college to learn how to be a professional.
he has ramen-noodle hair and soup in his veins.
he told me once that sometimes, love can swallow you.
IV.
in Farmington Hills, Michigan, there is a boy named Jordan
with big hands and a smile that makes him look 6 years old.
his favorite word is cumbersome because he likes the way it rolls.
he kisses like a firework and hugs like a fireman.
i look for him in everyone.
V.
in Pawtucket, Rho


Malalai heard a child scream once,
only once,
and it was the sound of Algebra,
the Cold War,
global warming,
but also a mango seed
scraping wood to etch grammar rules.
my privilege mirrors bomb threats.
i have three dream catchers in my room,
all of which were created by foreign hands.
my hands tell a well-kept secret,
notebook paper and straight-edged rulers,
pencils with erasers attached.
the mango falls from the tree and the tree
understands its nakedness.
the student drops out of school and the school
understands its cut budget.
remember:
Malala nearly died for her right to literacy.
who am i, insignificant, ignorant,
to rebel against a system whose brokenness
is so manically coveted?


broken feverthe first time a boy
smoked too many
cigarettes because
of me, he became
a man. he coughed
my blood into his
palms, tasted my
iron & grit, his tongue
finally learned the
inside of my body.
he clutched his chest
and felt only my heart-
beat. the pulse of a
moving car is one akin
to racing cattle or maybe
just a fever the moment
before its break.
i do not know what it
means to break; only
to burn out like a brilliant
star, or just another
addict’s mistake.

Comments


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:iconprettyflour:
prettyflour Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday!  :heart:
Reply
:iconinkgirl246:
Inkgirl246 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are a breath taking writer. Thank you for adding light to this world. Absolutely amazing.
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:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016  Student Writer
thank you so so so much! you're so wonderful
Reply
:iconithaswhatitisnt:
ithaswhatitisnt Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday!! :tighthug: :heart: :iconrainbowcakeplz: I hope you had a wonderful day!! :D
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I loved the video, when can I expect to see it up again? It was wonderful.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Student Writer
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P11rw…

go click the thumbs up!

spread it around, tell your friends!
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:salute:
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:iconever-lasting-spirit:
Ever-Lasting-Spirit Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Professional Photographer
Rush-Of-Emotions chose you as the first deviant to be in our Sunday Featurettes! Check it out here.
Reply
:iconphan5everx2:
Phan5everx2 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
hope you have a great birthday ^^
Reply
:iconprettyflour:
prettyflour Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday!!
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