i. if you cut me into pieces, split my skin with a jade dagger, can you begin to understand? are my laid out entrails enough?
the sun sets on the circle of lost boys. they huddled closer together in fear of the dark, this of course brings laughter rising up our burning esophaguses like bile, you won’t understand till i explain it. i don’t yet have the words, so we chuckle in the darkness and watch them shrink into their fear. you clutch me closer and whisper that tomorrow will come a little faster. we don’t ask why we are still harboring laughter inside spit slicked lips and wind bitten cheeks; our throats are raw from choking on it. salvation comes in the form of muzzles and a gut wrenching awareness. something is wrong.
the wind whistles, boys slipping away into the palms of an unknown beast. the night is once again blissfully silent, free of garish shards of laughter, still not safe from the earth’s quieter, gentle urging.
wake up my dear, night walking doesn’t suit you.
ii. look at my beating heart, do you feel me now? fragile, fading from blood loss. i only want you to feel me here. who filled this shell mere minutes ago?
i am alright, she whispers. the room pulses with straining uncertainty, everything is too white. she has always been a lit firecracker, burning brighter and brighter. just waiting to burst, spilling her too bright insides into the damp night. maybe that is why we got along so well. she was always the champurrado to my horchata. sweet rice milk and vanilla innocence, corrupted in the all-consuming taste of dark chocolate and cinnamon.
her hand loosens its grip. she whispers, voice steady even as her hands threaten to shake every star in the sky. “don’t follow me into the burning, corazon. i must go alone.”
i can’t understand why she would say this, i want to follow her into the night, what good is a girl without fire in her veins? i promise anyway, cannot bring myself to argue, even now, in the wake of her leaving
still, i feel the last of her drumbeat pulse. stay, it says. this is not your time
iii. you took the wrong girl from her broken home of a body. don’t you know the gods will not accept children of sin? look how my black blood stains this sacred stone.
candlelight washes over the pews. faded red seats press into scarred knees. this feels wrong. mother’s worn bible was lost in the flood, but you can remember the way she held it in between her hands, like it was something worthy. in some other universe, you suppose someone might have held you like that. the tree in the corner is decorated in crosses and angels, you stare at it absently as you struggle to remember why you have entered this holy place. never one for prayer, you grasp at memories of a kinder time to guide you.
i know i don’t deserve mercy, nor even forgiveness. you say. you still can’t decide if you want it.
i want to be free of this body, riddled with sin, please. let me go, i am so lost without her, the tears won’t stop falling, you fear you will drown in the deluge. can’t even go on without begging.
i cannot keep my promise. you whisper. i do not know how to exist without her
she comes to you once more, days later, on the verge of an endless sleep.
rest, my love. she says. here is my forgiveness, you will be saved.
iv. the crowd cheers, but this ground is uneasy. the mountain trembles with some unknown knowledge, my corpse lies still, messy with loss. the sacrificial lamb, but you understand now don’t you? i am the epitome of wolf.
there is blood everywhere. it sticks, tacky, to our cheeks, dripping from the thin cut just under a swollen eye. our grin is feral, smirking darkly as we light the candle. i remember why we were laughing that first night. the monster inside of us licks it chops. wax drips onto the carcasses, and in some other world, a sacrificial lamb’s blood is spilling onto cold stone. it is too late for repentance now and just as cortes, we have fooled them all . she is waiting for us on the other side, and i was never one for forgiveness. this ending will not be kind on any of us. it will be bloodstained and the burning will swallow us all whole. what is left to do but watch the whole world fall to its knees around us? we light the match and let it fall. watch in horrid fascination as its sweeps across this corrupt skin, blistering and peeling away to reveal our true form. burn away all remnants of this pathetic polymorphic existence.
wake up, it’s not time yet, i forgive you, let it all go up in flames