-guide to the functional

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.

Like dying, yes.

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.

Voice

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.

Faulty Taps

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.

Even when I do not scream, I hurt.

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.

Bare

Take my hand, and I promise you art.

You will be the canvas of my prose.

I’ll dip my pen into the ink of your eyes, and engrave myself onto your heart.