This week in the Guernica/PEN Flash series, we feature a piece by Michelle Dove.

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When the person I wish to see most doesn’t show, apathy must set in before anything can replace it. When I feel a human-sized void, is it instinctual that I fill it with a human? Inside jokes thwart explanation. The argument weighing going to the doctor and riding out discomfort is erratic. If eating is instinctual for survival, why do I spend so much time deciding what to cook? When what’s foreign compels creation, the end doesn’t feel any less personal. What I want from my interactions is not agreement. But show me true camaraderie that doesn’t take on a language all its own.