i. I was in my bed and the ache of August was growing inside me. The veins in my skin spread like maps; all roads lead to dead deer heaving on roadsides. My mother had told me to dream with the angels and there I was, wide awake and suffocating.
ii. I was standing on the edge of the cliff with everyone else and they all opened their parachutes, they pondered where to land and what to do once they got there. I had a pair of scissors in my hand, I considered cutting the strings before I jumped.
iii. I was back in my bedroom and the inevitable winds had torn the door open, I stood exposed to the cold and my rib cage was out for the world to see. “This is what I’ve done. This is what I am. This is all I’m ever going to be.”
iv. I couldn’t stomach the nosebleeds and scars, and there was nothing or nowhere new to swallow. And then…
v. I am sitting in the sand, the river and its woods a small country for my airplane mind to land on. The capitol is a field of pink milkweed. The people come forward and we speak the same language.
vi. I am in the dark with a lantern mouth, and slowly everybody starts to unzip their sweaters; their rib cages resemble mine. I am not alone. I was not alone.
vii. I am with you and we are learning to walk while shielding our eyes from the sun. Your hand in mine. I am still used to bruised knuckles and stomachaches; the demons were in my heart for so long their absence is foreign to me. But this new fight is a good fight.
I am human, not permanence.