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.
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.
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.
In the end, it is your heart that will guide the knife to your throat.
I run for pain, the excruciating burn of desire. I burn for the exquisite absence of thought.
A moment of both celebration and mourning, of the dreams you have lived and those futures not realized; of the masks of the past and the veil of the future; of the passing of yesterday, and the inevitability of tomorrow.
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.