To begin, you must start. There is no way around this.
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.
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.
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.
I run for pain, the excruciating burn of desire. I burn for the exquisite absence of thought.
Perhaps for all our worries about our individual existence, we are indeed nothing more than one among many.
A single artery of a heart, pulsing and throbbing on impulses from our milieu.
The truth is right before you, they say, but they’ll never understand.
You do not want to see. You do not want to know. You don’t ask. You don’t doubt.
You close your eyes, and believe.