i am afraid that
if i 
open myself
i will not 
stop pouring. (why do i fear
becoming a river. what mountain
gave me such shame.)

Jamie Oliveira, Erosion

Glass panes frosted with splintering shapes, crystals that gleam in each lingering phrase. A silence unfurls, dark and sweet. This room spins a chrysalis, glistening emergence: timeless, unknowable, I am my own result. Prisms brush soft against sun-dappled drapes; cold winter light on my shivering skin; iridescent wind-songs, lavender and lemongrass; spires that stretch toward (and dream with) the dawn. 

Only I know. Only I see. These are my hands, my dark yearnings, my need. Fingertips tinder and knuckle like flint, each muscle bent towards a strange, lovely scene. Cries, barbed and blissful, mark wants cinder-sweet–a flush of blood summers me, sacraments, sighs–I slacken, then winter with sleep. 

I am a flesh that the world tempers raw; the words I once wrote now write me.

When outside I step, pressed in carmine or rust, a pyrokinesis of yearning subsumes. Crushed velvet, ermine fur, self-kindled flames licking soft in my throat: blasphemy blossoms, bursts warmly forth–I am the last of that faltering lust. The janus-faced pleasures of soft lips, strange nights: I move with the burning, my lingering thought.

But I withdraw with the morning light, and shelter my heart like a fledgling thing; insatiable, devouring itself. As a child, I used to pretend I was cursed. I dreamt that my madness was a symptom to cure. But now I know that it’s really just me: sometimes ugly, often inane.

So this is it, isn’t it? I am all of the things that happened to me. I am all of the things I have done. I am the wounds in my own genealogy; the knotted scars and cobwebs of vein. I am the brine that breaks and then fades, the sordid solace, the locked embrace–I am the thing that bleeds.

The one who remembers, who knows even now, must taste the raw ceaseless rains of November. I carry her with me, every moment, all the time: not just my hatred, but that low, steady sadness that throbs against my sanity, floods my ruptured psyche like a pulse. When windswept constellations allow their light to ache across me, I lapse into nothing but the echo of my bones.

In the absence of my accuser, am I absolved at last?

Yes. I am alone, I am always alone. But her body is as broken as her vows, her prognosis more empty than a grave. When I cleanse those stygian shores, she will feel my absence in the corners of her soul. Her form will taste the prisms of that horror–the traumas she wrought when her mind flashed towards mine–and may she taste the blood then that cruentates her palms. She will remember what she did to a thing that adored her, and that knowledge will torment her like strange starvation. She will remember that she was always broken, that savaging me could not have saved her. In this blaze of knowledge, my crucifixion is complete.

If I can endure the months to come, then I will at last be free. These are the rites of the still-slipping seasons; I relish them now, and I dream.