Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
bubbling, boiling, the ****** acid sizzles
my insides like water hissing as it turns to steam
helpless against the fury of a forest fire
it chars my throat,
tears springing to my eyes

i can taste the salt on my face
but all i see is red

mirthless laughter echoes
the way black coal smoke billows
from the smoke stacks of my

the searing heat of hatred
irritates the skin on my wrists
i scratch and scratch and scratch
until the skin is raw
until the skin is broken
until the skin hangs off the bone
i feel nothing but the rage

giving me strength
giving me focus
giving me calm

the lava rises, shrieking,
into my eyes,
pouring from my ears and nostrils,
seethes between my clenched teeth and sealed lips

my breathing
even, deep,
matches the rumble of the cracking earth

and from its core more fire comes
evaporating the tears on my cheeks
the blood on my arms
the rain from the very sky
last night, for what may have been the first time in what felt like centuries of me loving you,
i felt, in the base of my brain, barely perceptible but there nonetheless,

it's presence alone would not have been as alarming if it had not been for you.
doubt, fear, rage have no place in the home we may never build
but love to dream about when we feel the most alone.

and yet there it was now.
and i sat there feeling doubt slowly spreading like cancer along my brainstem, and i wondered
how long it had been there but dormant.
how long it had been there waiting for the correct catalyst.

i wondered if i still knew every layer of you.
i wondered if i still had you memorized or if all i have learned is a lie.

would you ever lie to me again?
how would i know if you had?
why am i even asking myself these things?

in my mind's eye i crawled into your mouth,
searching inside of you for any trace of deception,
forcing myself to look,
and hating myself for looking.

when i awoke this morning, my hands were empty, and i do not know whether that was good news.
frankly, i am afraid to ask.
if i do not tend to my wounds they will become infected
inflamed, red, hot to the touch
rotting and dripping with pus

i know this, and still i let them fester
refusing to remove the soiled bandages because i know it will hurt
even though i am no stranger to pain

eventually the sickness will infect my blood
spread to the rest of my body and brain
maybe it will **** me
but i will not hold my breath

i have survived wounds like this before
i have the scars to prove it
i have no choice but to heal
and try again
you hold me under the water
until my lungs scream out for air
you know i cannot hold my breath forever,
don't you?

you hold me under the water
in a perverse baptism
the one i worship delivers me to death

you hold me under the water
one hand buried in my hair
the other firmly on my neck
i have no choice but to choke

you hold me under the water
and i do not struggle to break from your grip
you were always stronger than me
and a part of me has always wanted this

you hold me under the water
and fill my mouth with the sea
i swallow, even as i know
to drink is to die

you hold me under the water
gently, as a lover would
it won't be long now
before i become one with the ocean

i am aware that you are speaking to me
but i cannot hear you over the crashing of the waves
when your work is finished and you wade away
there will be no blood on your hands
the well is dry
i cannot collect water
i cannot sustain life

the river is swollen with toxic mud
i cannot cross to the other side
i cannot escape this

the grasslands have not seen rain in many years
the smallest spark could destroy this place
and i am awash in static

i sit under a long dead tree
and try to rest
and try to remain still

for to move is to cause a cataclysm
yet to remain stagnant is to cause my own demise

the wildlife that did not flee the drought have perished
the scavengers that came to pick apart the carcasses are gone as well

only i remain
the monarch of nothing
but bones and barren earth
i keep thinking that if i cut away enough layers of skin
i will reveal the one that has you hidden underneath and
scrub you out

it is a foolish notion
a false ambition
but one that i cannot seem to shake
one that, like you, i have been unable to sear
from my mind and from my heart

i am told that in time you will pass
but it takes seven years to shed my skin
and you have burrowed deep

i do not have that kind of time, i fear
and the longer you stay here
the deeper my discomfort
i cannot allow myself to believe
that our stars are aligned
i cannot allow myself the luxury of thinking
that the planets under which we were born
have destined us to orbit each other
i cannot allow
the spiders' threads we have cast over the years
to turn into webs, trapping each
for the other's future feast

but when i gaze skyward i feel your reach
when i look inward i see that you have taken up residence
and i wonder if i have done the same to you
though i dare not ask

i must imagine the physical distance between us
as locked doors
or brick walls
or boarded windows
for my own protection and yours
but it is easier said than done

for when i hear your voice it feels as though my heart is shuddering back to life
from a dead sleep i was not aware it was in
and it frightens me
-more than i care
nor dare
to admit-
that it has always been this way

the more i try to turn my head
the more vividly you appear in my dreams
my peripheral vision, so to speak

even writing this, now, i fear what is to come
Next page