There are days when I wish you were a person and not a concept, so I could find the cruelest ways to barely keep you alive. I want to crunch your bones beneath my palms and watch the opals of your skin fade to sugilite and feel as you liquefy and pool up to my knees.
I’d take that chance to let my eyes slip down your throat and root around the inside of your gut, turning over each over keen drop of blood and kicking aside each sublimated rib to find the milky pool of medic-logic laced around your aortas.
Because you were too transparent to be a true beast but at the same time, you had a hefty chest. Not for heart or the internal systems I would obliterate, but for lungs big enough to hold so many questions;
Too many improbabilities that were gifted the purse strings of my life because, just like me, they were used to starvation, and all they needed was a morsel to knock the teeth straight out of sensibility and tie them like a gem around their throat.
I can’t be mad at your for controlling my life when I’m the outside polishing the welcome mat. I can’t fixate on that word — mad — that is both nebulous and esoteric when I’ve dressed up your psychosis and assured you it was psychedelic and that this relic of an anxiety served any purpose.
I can’t talk to you without sounding angsty because you’ve figured out how to tap into my control panel. You learned how to superimpose any falsity into a real time actuality and keep me forever occupied by the ‘what ifs,’
And those what ifs matured to maybes that had cesareans to spawn their we be’s that gobbled up my jaw and sweat and punctuation
And I am violent and I am dirty I have cancer I have AIDS I cannot sleep because there are rats do you hear me? there are rats and mice and roaches and slimy goddamned frogs scrawling around the tendons of my muscles and I am dead on the street and I left something dead on the street and I left my wallet on the counter in the bathroom with my meds (i don’t need my meds I don’t even need my meds nobody give me my meds I swear that I can’t reach the bar)
And I want to hurt myself and I’ll always hurt myself and I want to want to need to hurt myself and there are rats there are rats crawling up the toilet! up the toilet and back down into my wallet and they are defecating into my blood and I need to need to plan to want to stop
And I can’t calm down enough to get myself in check, or get you in check, so stop trying to slit your own throat! but I can’t stop because there’s a rat in my larynx and I (swear) I didn’t know synthesis came with a prescription.
You press the cornea of the sun into my already full cheeks so you can watch my skin struggle to deconstruct burns. It’s easy to stay warm and mad while you try to drag me to the trenches, leaving me to lick war dust from your cheekbones.
I can climb down lepidolite rungs thinking that I’ve found salvation but each cesspool attracts fathom like the inexorable malady—
There is always a deeper and a more economic means of untying the ends.
We exist in a world built on the premise of the Hotel California as if the Eagles are the nostrum for my wounding; everything is lovely and those six letters dangle from your fingertips into my mouth and they beg me so hard to suck,
Not just suck, but rewire my tongue and require an elegant falling action as if the panic button in my palm has a function.
I can be over this and I can stay over this and I hate when it gets so bad I can’t sleep. There are days I barely keep you alive just to feel something throb inside me; for some reason, vermin blood feels warm enough for these urgent veins.
Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer living in Winter Park, FL. She is the assistant editor for The Chaotic Review and was the 2016 recipient of the Arden Goettling Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has been published or is upcoming on Poets.org,The Merrimack Review, Cleaver Magazine, The Writing Disorder, Sick Lit Magazine, Pidgeonholes Magazine, Unbroken Literary Journal and others.