To begin, you must start. There is no way around this.
I held myself above my skin, stretched thin, walked on tiptoe over its deep pockets and heard the faintest of voices in me.
if you are the type of person who breaks before the gunshot- if you have ran harder than ever when your body screams at you to stop- if you have hit the ground dying so you can fall to hell in pieces- then congratulations. We will consider your proposition. When you are ready. The end is yours to keep.
There, I thought, maybe I will finally learn how to be cut without being breached.
And there, at last, maybe I will be a thing held and hummed and not forgotten, because I hear that you can’t be taken away against your will if you give yourself first.
Do you hear me? I’ll give myself. First. Already.
I swear it. I swear it, I do. I do. To the old gods and the new, to this word and the next and what comes after, to the stars that were only ever the tears of an unseen sun, to whatever else is watching when you don’t, I swear it.
To find this thing and lose myself to it, or lose myself in the searching. Which, I suppose, is the same thing.
A year then? Futility.
My heart tells me I have been voiceless forever and yesterday.
Forever and yesterday, the end feels so far behind, I imagine I am yet to cross it.
Dreams surface with filters and edits: mine come out gray scale. I sleep wearing clothes I do not own, with a face I do not own, a face that is not a face at all, but a grayish blur of flesh.
Did I dream it this way? I wonder.
I hold breath in, I remember the leaking, the endless leaking, I shiver. Cold washes over me. Not over me, but under, cold sweeps under my skin and over my bones and I shiver with an uncontrollable urge to laugh, as if I’m being tickled from the inside.
drip. drip. drip.
The water will burn, my brain warns, and my skin quakes, premature. As if screaming now will save it pain in the future. The skin does not know: the pain comes anyway, scream now or later.
Some nights, you come real close. So close, you can taste the sleep, you can smell it. It smells like dripping saliva and warm cotton cloth.
In the dead of the night, the clock blinking at 2:43 a.m., you feel like a corpse dragged out from the grave. Immortality forced down a mortal.
You feel wrong.
I have a darkness within me, and like the shadows streaming from the light, it has tied itself to my soul. We are entwined together, this monster of mine, we are soulmates, in the purest sense of the word.
Cut this chord, and I am as lifeless as a puppet without strings. Cut this chord, and I lose, I am lost.
Today, you may have a purpose, a will to keep going, and it might vanish into thin air tomorrow, no warnings, no explanations.
I fear the day where I will not want to keep dreaming.
I fear the moment where I will stop and decide that it isn’t worth it.
I fear the empty-hearted, empty-eyed life I could live, if only I closed my eyes and slept.
Them, with their iron-clad blindness, leaping from the cliffs, coming back whole, euphoric. I saw it with my own eyes.
Us, with our memories, our scars, snickers and sneers.
Faith, this single, impenetrable divide, soaked in blood, brewed in death.
Whatever we did, we did for power.
Money. Love. Beauty. Respect. Family.
Power to control, to seduce, to create, to morph.
If my name is on the page, if my name is scrawled on some distant pillar, I can’t disappear.
I was here.
Who are you, really, underneath all the masks?