CW: singular reference to cathartic self-harm practice
Slow movement. The air pressure shifts drops presses contracts against my skin. A sense of waiting, the thin edge between expectation and anticipation. Build rise fall drop. Every breeze feels like the beginning of a hurricane that doesn’t manifest fully.
Grasping. Midnight purple, the color you are when you are in my head. I am oozing outward sweating threats of rain. A downpour.
This is where the medical taste of A&D radiating from my skin is useful. The kind of pain I can relax into, the sharp scrape of needle clusters. A biting caress. Razors don’t leave shadows like your fingertips don’t leave bruises, and I need the memory of this to last.
My teeth ache, these synesthetic moments visceral in my mouth. Expand collapse build higher tighter don’t break, bend like these muscles don’t ache from holding a hurricane in my gut.
The slow burn broken by impatience, fortified by stubbornness. I want to be able to hold the pain in the aches and folds of my skin, to hear the words I can’t stomach whispered back to me, to feel the strain in my hands when they unclench from the mast they are holding for dear life my body weight straining like pausing for punctuation is too dangerous to risk.
This is not catharsis. My soul is howling for something tangible real visceral something to fight and push and strain against because my body is ill-equipped to hold what nature built and broke and fixed. Who am I here? No one knows but someone sees. I don’t know if this is me or a macromemory of who I have been, a dying star, a god, temptation, a minor demon. Do molecules hold memories and if so, where?
I am infinite, the smallest sliver of who I was am am still becoming will be is enough to fill the empty space in the galaxy. We are all mostly empty space, so when I feel most real there is very little of me compact, I am floating into the stars and I need you to pull this dissipating soul back into this imperfect skin with sensation I cannot escape.
I’ve seen a glimpse of what a tree looks like rooted firmly in the stars. I have seen the demons of generational dreams lodged in the shoulders of prophets. I have been blinded by darkness so dazzling its masquerade of light seems almost genuine. These things are not exaggerations; this is my insanity, my life, my reality, my language, my belief. How then can I be merely human when I see transcendence in the eyes of demigods bursting from my skin?
I am afraid of what I need, but it is pooling from my lips, a blend of red and blue blood oxygenated and not, my fingertips stained and dripping spots. I need to feel the fear, in my bones, and face it. It is fear that fuels this storm inside my skin, fear that builds momentum and abandons hope at the final moments when the pressure seeks to equalize the internal and external to relieve and breathe.
It is fear that I crave, beyond pain, beyond measure or words or hope of actualization. Fear that drives and feeds my soul, because in fear, I find my strength by meeting and roaring defiance into the maelstrom.