It's quiet. The words I am dying to hear just won’t come. Pregnant pauses and swollen silences engulf the ear and swallow the mind. It's quiet. With no room to grow, no room to breathe, no room to suffer, no room to know. Queer little voices trickle through, thrashing, violent, creeping out the door and its quiet. There is a palisade inside of me. Thoughts and memories float down the river on little white kayaks and sail into sharp gates of pointed pines, shattering at the very first touch. It's so very quiet as we sweep the shards of glass thoughts that hurt to touch and draw the reddest blood. It's quiet because it splinters.

--

Why did you come back if you never had what it takes to be a decent man? Other kids had ski trips and afternoon drives; I had pulling out my molar in the dark while I watched you sleep in your mothers’ basement to the lull of true crime television. 

--

Breathe Jules. You have to breathe Jules–but breathing was never my strong suit, I’m asthmatic– no you have to breathe–why am I so tense? One time that lady told me I had the legs of a runner but I’m a lazy piece of shit, I can’t run because I’m bad at breathing. I can’t even breathe right, can’t even see right, that’s why you need glasses– Just breathe Jules, you can breathe– no breathing, you need to be writing. When was the last time you worked? What about the deadlines? They needed those notes last week but you couldn’t even get out of bed until the sun started setting, you don’t even talk to them because your words are all spent, you’ve peaked and hit rock bottom but you’re only twenty-two years old… what a disappointment.

--

No sense can be found in my festering head. Maggots eat my sentences like rotted apple cores, spitting out arsenic to poison and wither my crops. The carrion flies plant their seeds between the decaying carcasses of all my past selves and creep through the twisted highways of vines that hide the carnage. Blooming in the sickly heat, wriggling buds consume the fractured pieces of me. When will this rotting summer end? When will the pupae harden their shells, sprout their wings and leave me with fertile soil to grow?

--

Why did you take me to meet her? You called her fairy girl. I remember the shimmer of her wings. You twisted my six-year-old brain into origami paper cranes, so now I can’t even recall her fucking name but I know her sparkle. I told Mom then you were gone, why did you let me feel all that blame?   

--

Turn the screw into the folds of flesh that make up the organ that controls this vessel of meat and bone. Constrict the blood flow and let me float aboveground, away from my thoughts and dreams, nightmares and screams, I just want to escape it all. Push the bolts into my neck, call me Frankenstein’s monster and renew me under the promises of Prometheus, I want to be reborn. I’m not the doctor but his pet.

--
 

Trauma lives in the folds of my brain. Poor little child, afraid of their shadow, jumping like a cat with every brush a finger. How can I come to terms when I couldn’t even sign them? Couldn’t speak, couldn’t cry; who took away my hand? When was it taken? Who said they could? And why was it so easy?

--

Why did you leave me in your beat up blue work van while you smoked cigarettes and fed your sickness and blew my college savings in a treasury of cheap plastic? Black and red and white and red and black, it shuffles, it splinters...

--

What a waste– Why can’t you fucking breathe Jules?– You’re such a disappointment. You’re queer and not the socially acceptable kind,  you’ll never meet the expectations everyone had for you, that you could be something great but you’re just a dead end desk jockey with nothing to say, nothing to tell, too ashamed of yourself to ever be proud of your queerness and your fatness and your shyness and your sadness–I just want to breathe in peace– 

--

It's time to speak. It takes time to take the craggy shards of memory and sort them into cubes.

--

You cannot kill me. Every night I die and every morning I am reborn, choking on ash and burning with rage, a snake eating its own tail.

--

You don’t get peace. He took peace from you when you were who the fuck knows how old because your brain rotted to shit and took all the memories with it. Now you’re stuck being sad about shit you don’t even remember and people you’d rather forget when they don’t lose a single moment's breath over your pain, your suffering, your sleepless nights and paperwhite scars (you think a tattoo could make you forget?). Just get over it, get over yourself and just–breathe.

--

Iron out the folds, sort the cubes and stack the memories. Why couldn’t you have been better than your father? Why did you leave me in your beat-up blue work van while you smoked cigarettes and fed your sickness and blew my college savings in a treasury of cheap plastic? Why did you take me to meet her? Why did you let me feel all that blame? Why did you come back if you never had what it takes to be a decent man?

--

you burn like I do. god

cannot cleanse you of your

sins, you burn because I

say you do, heartless beast,

no man inside of you.

 

grab what you please, but

I bite the hand that 

takes, tearing through the flesh

and grazing bone on bone.