I saw a flower one day by my friend’s dorm building. It was blue and round, and it poked out of the grass near the sidewalk. It will die when the weather changes. I wonder if it knows that. Maybe it won’t. Who decides that?
Sometimes I get this sensation in my head like I’m just waking up. It’s like I blink into a different version of my own existence. In that moment I’m suddenly aware of myself from the outside. Questions flood into me, like who am I really? Or how long have I been around? How did I get to this perceived moment in time? I look at my skin and I feel like it’s new to me. Sometimes I feel invisible and get scared. Sometimes I am contentedly alone in all my senses. Sometimes I wish I could float to wherever I was before, like if I tried hard enough, I could stretch into whichever instance of “reality” I wanted.
Some people say that life is meaningless. That there’s no point in doing anything, because it doesn’t mean anything. We’re marching toward death from the moment we’re born and that’s reality. Every minute of life is a disgusting nightmare. Every consciousness subjected to it is being hurt and to experience life at all is cruelty. Maybe it’s pompous to disagree, or obtuse to believe otherwise. I think, fundamentally, I will never agree. I’m trying not to be proud or resigned or indignant that anyone else has concluded otherwise.
Some people say that there is a reason for everything. That we were created to do something, somehow, and benefit existence around us. Truthfully, I am uncertain. I disagree with this side too. Things, objects, life, opening, closing, noises everywhere including silence, I don’t profess to know any purpose for any of them. I only know the vision flowing into my brain through my eyes, and the chemicals, and the thing that is maybe a soul inside me saying that I shall act, and so I do, or I will not, so I don't.
I’m not afraid of death in itself. It’s already claimed so many things I knew of, or enjoyed, or found myself attached to. Something I would or wouldn’t like to experience is just a feeling. I do not think I would like to be stabbed, though I am curious if it burns, aches, or stings. I would not like to drown, but sometimes when swimming I catch a sensation in my lungs like I have inhaled beneath the water, and in a moment of confusion I wonder if my consciousness restarted. I would not mind to see death come to take me, but I would be disappointed if it came before I ran out of things I’d like to do. I don’t find it selfish; I enjoy pleasure.
I think, when death comes for me, and I am ready to go with it, I will look at it and touch its face and push it into myself. I think that physical remnant will slip back into the elements, and I will go somewhere else, and if we really were just chemicals, then the chemicals will go somewhere else and what was left of “me” will be something new then.
If I give birth someday, I think it will be like an interesting moment in my existence. Like getting surgery and touching the removed organs, or finding an animal or fruit you never knew existed. This other person would be a creation of me and another, and the air I breathe, and the food I eat, and then it will not be, because the cells will grow more and more until I and another are gone, leaving only the new.
Maybe I’m disconnected from pain, and any tears I shed for anyone are just a chemical reaction my soul will have already healed from by the time a droplet meets my cheek. I’ve moved past it, like a kind of understanding that I don’t actually understand. The universe could tell me that it’s going to wrap my consciousness around and around itself for the rest of time and I would probably nod and continue on the way.
I don’t think it has to be so complicated. “I” is only as much as itself can understand. I drink unhealthy soda because I like the way fake flavors taste. I stand in a Wal-Mart playing with gel umbrella handles because my fingers push into the squishy material in a way that feels good. I love someone, and someone else, and more and more forever because there is a warmth and safety in my body that I like to feel. I am content to defy the lonely emptiness that is apparently all life has to give. I only have two hands, but there are other hands I would like to hold. There is a pain I would like to defy, and it pleasures me more to selfishly enjoy myself in its face.
#thinking #dreaming #wonder #existential #content
s l i p u p
Suddenly, whether by fact or by
She was walking a tightrope
and it was s l i c i n g
At her feet so harshly that
B l o o d
Came dripping through the fibers of
And she couldn’t feel her toes
Pointed forward at the
While the net bounced beneath her
Shaken by the
C h e e r i n g
The laughter and joy
Sitting around the ring
How l o v e l y
They found her
With every grimace
That fed their withered eyes
Roasting till I’m dark chocolate, a shade a day, peeling off my precious face while she turns salmon or he turns peppercorn or they turn charcoal like what’s popping under the burgers and hotdogs.
All of us claiming to be bitter while one of us is too sweet for that claim to sit well in the mouth.
We’re sweating a river and there’s nowhere clean to swim. The car died before the heat set in good, and the shuttle only goes to the courthouse where no one wants to be. The breeze is only cool when it wants to be, the grass dead and brown, but not brown like us burning on the deck ’cause ain’t nothing better to do.
We can go in and hide like the gremlins we say we are and ain’t no shame in that. We are neighborhoods apart just because, and we all go down on the same brand of popsicle. Sex is the move and I know nothing firsthand so I keep to myself.
Nobody exists when I’m sitting by my lonesome self in the shade. Nobody can come around and I can’t go to them. They’re a text message away but I’ll text when I’m ready. I hear birds and dirt dobbers, they’re enough for now.
If the melancholy happens, it’ll feel good for a little while. Catharsis in a drug you make yourself. Cute and hot and sweaty and all alone and sad,
And it feels amazing.
Awaken, light up!
Fire burns here, where ferocity sleeps.
Spin your thread and form a wheel!
Ride the flickering candle wick right to the end.
One more spark, you can do it!
Sputtering flames and fading sun can't hurt you.
The dark will be your friend, pushing you on!
It'll call you to sleep when you're finished.
Only you should blow out the lights!
And we'll all welcome you, hero.
Lily White. Midnight.
You look so beautiful in the summer sun.
You may or may not burn blush,
Peeling your lily white skin,
But for a while, you gleam like ivory.
I think I am beautiful too.
I may or may not burn splotchy spice and vermillion,
Midnight skin also peeling,
But for a while, I glow like amber.
I heard somewhere that someone
Who looks a little like you
With peachy, creamy skin
Thinks that people who look a little like me
With honey, mocha skin
Do not peel or burn.
I thought that was strange.
Praise the Hero
Put your praise on me, I’m the hero.
Her chest was tight, surely swollen to bursting, but she held her breath. Her eyes stared unblinkingly at the lamppost, just below the light as she’d trained to do. She feared passing out if it didn’t enter soon, but sure enough she felt the atmosphere lift within the minute. A rush of air escaped her lungs and she wheezed, falling to the damp grass with green and blue dripping from her tongue. Dirt collected beneath her fingernails with the worst sensation of gore against her numbing skin. She looked up, out at the city beyond the park. Its lights were bright, its buildings gleamed.
They weaved along the skyscrapers and cars like worms, or perhaps they were smoke. Or entrails. She stood up, weakly wiping the absorption residue from the corners of her mouth. Nameless. She looked at the man shivering in his sleep, curled up on a park bench, also nameless. Forgotten, but completely unaware of his narrowly avoided fate. She sighed, suppressing more coughs.
I’m the hero.
She narrowed her eyes. The spirits were roiling inside her again, and they would be for a while. That was the price she paid. But it was worth it. Surely, it was worth it. Even if she lost the praise, the admiration and love. She would continue for as long as her body would let her, but in all truth, her body was faltering. She took shaky steps down the central park walkway, toward whoever needed her help next, unaware of the corruption latching on to them, sucking their life away where they could not see. Only she could contain them in a way that kept them down forever. Each step was hurting. She held her stomach, held her face.
Hero. Hero. Hero.
Oh gods, it was hurting. Hurting so badly, but she couldn’t stop now. She could see more of them in the alley. She needed to get them away. She needed to contain them. That was her power, her duty, her mission. She opened up her mouth, a low and raspy scream emanating from within as she dragged the spirits toward her and away from the weary, exhausted woman leaning against the wall. She pulled and pulled until the last one was gone, and then she dropped to her knees as screams bubbled inside her and blue-green oil splattered against the pavement. The woman she had saved looked down at her, confused, glassy, but slowly beginning to recognize what had happened. Her gaze softened, and she knelt down with concern. However, she recoiled at the sight of the slick, oily face, steaming and pulsing with the containment of those evildoers.
Just put your praise on me.
Life is like a homemade caramel sauce, and can be quite tasty. But keeping things going for too short of a time keeps them from forming properly, and going for too long makes makes them burnt and bitter. Recklessness and eagerness might win the rare perfect recipe, but far too often will something delicious start to stick, and harden, and end up very difficult to clean away for something better.
Black tears, but not a plain black. Not like rich black, or true black. They're not black like the void or the abyss. Maybe they're black like space. They're black like oil. Black like a third grader's novelty gel ink pens with too many sparkles. Black like an iridescent beetle that was hunted down, escaped, and then crushed by the edge of the net. Black like a raven pecking alone in the sun but not able to fly, cawing at Edgar but singing for Maya. Black like silk under stage lights. Black like water full of stars. Black like a clean phone screen that won't turn on, that I can see myself in. Black so dark it's blue sometimes, it's gold sometimes. Black that doesn't wish it was pink anymore, or purple or green or blue, because it's already all of those inside and they got so mixed together that you can see them all at once but you also can't see them at all, because they only show up when the light hits just right. Those tears are black.