the body is a vessel wrought to contain sensation. in this, there is something freeing. in this, there is something terrifying.

threadbare cotton. the sensation of steam rising up against his face. the scent and spray of the ocean. all things from his childhood.

the sharp crack of firewood. a melody absently hummed as if passing over his lips on the way to some distant unknown. the thud of brick falling against earth. the peculiar grind of a spade biting into packed soil.

woodsmoke. a distant alarm blaring somewhere in the dark behind his eyes.

the melody comes again. leaves before he can place it.

he has lived in the tip of his tongue. he has lived in the tips of his fingers. he has lived on the tips of his toes. for so long his life has been edges and extremities. there is danger in occupying his core.

there are sensations, now, that come to him - a rushing of blood, calling to mind the lips teeth tongue of a man and of a woman and how dearly he loves them both - loved them both - loves them both -

there are sensations, now, the breeze playing through his hair and raising gooseflesh along the back of his neck. perhaps the gooseflesh is raised by more than the wind - and then again, perhaps it isn’t. it is so easy to ascribe meaning to the most mundane of things.

there are sensations, now, a sharp crack like the popping of wood set ablaze but louder, far louder, resounding in his ears.

there are sensations, now, a thud that tears through him and the screaming of torn nerves, rent muscle, shattered bone.

sensations wink out one by one, but the thudding persists. it’s become more intimate, the gentle farewell of an old friend. he knows this thud.

for so long he has lived in edges and extremities. now he condenses down to a single stubborn point of light, wet and red.

oh, tenacious heart.

—  weehawken