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Paperback Lover, Stained in Mercury

He was the kind of person who would write rebellious words inside chapter books as small attempts to take a stand in his life. Brittle collapses led up to it all- there was a need for it. A need for those words.

He was so miserable in his laughter yet so joyful in his despair.

Everything he did dug into our marrow and scratched our small hearts. The surface broke and the chalk bled into our veins, pounding throughout our pale limp bodies until a rhythm of metronomed heart waves attached each of our limbs and created a delicate lullaby, a circulating drum beat, a fleeting falsetto. Music.

We didn't understand him. One of our favorite games was to create a character for him in our heads. He was different in all of our variations, but always a hero. We got so wrapped up in our imaginary stories that his skin would darken and sunburn and his height would increase and fall. His voice deepened then softened and we fooled ourselves so well that our lives became picture books and we all were characters and props and simple set backgrounds that weathered and wrinkled and worn down with time. One by one we killed our selves off until all that the pages enveloped were him, multiple hims, white papers dense with his aroma and soaked in his reactions. Shelves full of him.

He was like pins and needles to every part of us, pricking and poking and sizzling and stinging. Numb and burning, dislocating every limb of our bodies. Frazzled and jumping capillaries, all because of him. 

We loved him despite the tantrums and the running and the flesh. It's impossible to love a part of your blood and brain. He was the wood in the windowpanes and the mercury inside our thermometers that society said was dangerous. We loved it anyway, we always loved him even if the red they said was hazardous ran down our necks and seeped into our skin. When you love someone you take risks.

The mercury could cloud our lives and fade our memories and discolor our futures but that is okay. It's always okay. He and I and them and us will use the red to build it all, even if the cards do not carry out promise. Even if the deck smashes and the toothpicks crack and the glue all melts from the heat of the sun we will be okay because the oceans will always be full of red and as long as the rivers still beat with the sound of red and our hands are all bound with the taste of crimson we will continue to create our own bridge to our own provinces and we will survive. 

His ink stains consist of particles from within and his words reek of bloody wounds but when you really think about it we all bleed our emotions onto the pages and how is this any different. Mercury is just the same, we handle it, we always handle it, if you can't read without feeling the arteries pulsing inside you then you should be worried, very worried, because without that pulsing we are all paper dolls with cut out arms and little seams stringing cotton together. He is what is real, his words containing his fragments, and we must learn to bleed mercury and taste the feelings we feel instead of simply dipping our pens in it and groping for a spark.




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