when i was small i tried to pull a raccoon tail out of a trap and
dropped it when i saw its sticky pink flesh dripping over the teeth of
the machine. that was when i first became conscious of internal organs.
i could have sworn that if you cut me in half you'd find thick, beige
rubber and nothing else.
a few years later, i picked up a shell at the beach, and when legs
emerged from its aperture, i threw the shell violently into the mouth of
the ever-eating sea. this piece of creature didn't belong to me, either.
and even if it did, i would only lose it through a pocket-hole or seclude it
in a mason jar. it was better to leave it for the ocean, for the crusty limbs
ticking in its pearly womb, and for the uglier tongues looking to lick
i wondered if the raccoon was eaten or merely embraced taillessness.
i became a pesticidal ghost child, i was fear and poison gas
struggling in the same vessel, oil and water brought to a frantic
boil. i imagined my bed as a preemptive casket and pretended to choke
or vomit every night promptly at 8:30-- anything to keep me off the
mattress. i wanted to climb into my mother and soak. i wanted to
preserve every part of myself until the sun and i simultaneously
expired, exhausted from keeping warm. i realized it was no great feat to
kill a person.
you must only pinpoint their existence in space; they are only a point,
a dot to be unlit. and they make it pretty easy.
when it comes down to it,
i can think of two people who will eat you.
would eat you.
and one has no arms or legs.
one is a mindsick despot.
both gave birth to themselves with little help.
so there i was, hacking coughing over the doll-carcass of death,
nudging it sullenly with my foot, half-scared it would turn over and