The first time, at the age of four,
when I first peeked under my tongue
after brushing my teeth,
I got scared.
Frightened by the ugliness of it.
All the ruptured rivers of my veins and vessels,
the indefinite patterns of colonization of my cells;
a naked mannequin of the story I held inside.
It was as if someone had peeled the skin
off my tongue at my birth
and now all the prisoners were striving to escape.
It was as if someone had abducted the blanket
away, when I was sleeping
and now the monster under the bed was clawing its way out
asking if I needed a friend.
Scared that I would damage the fragile wires,
I carefully laid my tongue back in her cradle,
hoping that someday, the skin would be back.
That she had only walked around the corner of the alley
and she would be back.
That the vacancy in my heart did not mean she was gone,
she had only gone to the mall to grab some sweets
and she would be back.
Each day, I would steal a peep,
in belief that I might find her there.
Though foolish of me, sure, it was to hope.
Smart of me it was to stay away from despair.
I still get scared when I glance under my tongue.
But not because of the ugliness, no.
The darkness that, I know, flows beneath those streams.
The darkness that, I fear, resides behind my skin,
licking, biting and swallowing the hollow of my being.
I still shut my mouth as quick as I can,
sending my tongue back to sleep,
but not because I am afraid to cause damage, no.
All the words that hide inside my enigmatic brain.
All the demons that lurk around the shadows of my heart.
The beasts and ogres that I once crafted
out of the ashes of my soul.
They skulk in the void of my chest,
their laughs echoing around the abyss
where once cherished my being.
They drink and dance, and gamble away all my life.
They joke and sing, and rob me of all my hope.
I still check the cave in my mouth,
day after day.
Not in hope of arrival of spring, no,
but in helplessness of my desperate desire.
In temptation to split open a vessel,
and watch all the nothingness,
flow out of my mouth into the inviting sink.
In temptation to ravage the last barrier into pieces
and feel all my creations drain out of my body.
In temptation to see the corpse of my soul
sail away with the tides of my untiring blood.
--to be free.
When I said I was wondering about life, I might just have meant its end.