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Hail Marys

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We woke up that one night and the moon was gone out of the sky and the hallways were narrower than I remembered. We woke up that night to disarray and distant cries for help in foreign tongues. We woke up that night because I couldn’t stop screaming in my sleep and the flies were eating me over and over again. You cradled me close and the fit wouldn’t stop this time and my lungs were collapsing down against my spinal cord and you were trying to help me. The red lights were flashing behind my eyelids and you seemed so far away, on the other side of this glass wall that I have closed myself behind in an attempt to save my heart from you. I tried to push you away and somehow pulled you closer, close enough that we fell asleep together in my parents’ empty apartment, close enough that my clothes are lying in a crumpled mess at the side of the bed.

I was pushing you away and every time I pushed you further, the fits subsided and these drugs weren’t running through me anymore, but every time you appear again, we’re back to me screaming through the nights, twitching in our dreams, praying that the money will fall from the air and we’ll be able to live again, fly again, laugh again. We pray that this will end and utopia will appear. We pray that my parents will never return, we will dance, the man in the sunglasses will visit at the door, I will pull my burnt spoon from the inside of my pillowcase. We pray in desperation. We do not believe in God.

Cradle me more! Hold me tighter and make it stop! Pin my legs down. Scold me. Godammit. Find a vein again and save me. Where’s the money? When does this end? Does it ever stop?

Yes, yes it does. I cannot speak English anymore and I cannot ask you these questions and you’re growing further away and the frequency of the red lights is increasing and the foreign tongues are screaming and we are praying, grasping rosaries and counting beads and shrieking, belting out Hail Marys. Lord! Answer my f***ing calls and give me money and help me pay for this, save my life! God, help me see my ribs again, help me feel again, help me love this boy again. Let him love me. Let me stop screaming. Let your power save my life.


God is not up there.


We are alone and you are muttering into my ears, your seventeen year old infant that must hold so closely, rock so slowly. Your shirt is wet and sticky with my salty tears and sputtering saliva. I’m sorry that I’m spitting, but I am so scared. I am so scared. Look at me. I’m turning into a ghost. Start a fire. Do we have anything left? Even just a bit? Just a bit to help me sleep again? Help me love you again? I can’t love you if I’m screaming so is there even a scrap left? Start a fire. Heat it up. You can use my belt from my jeans if you like. Wrap me in this blanket. It’s freezing in here. Where’d you leave that needle? Oh, the bathroom. I rise, clutching my walls, praying to sink my hands into white padding to keep me sane. Praying for the padded walls. There’s a concept. The Spanish lady outside the window is screaming at her children, drinking this all away, drinking away this nightmare.

We are both praying. She is praying that her child support check will come tomorrow night or that her mom will take the children off of her hands. We are both clutching rosaries while you light your fire. We are both praying and praying and praying and muttering a thousand Hail Marys that God may forgive us. The difference is that she believes he’s there and I believe that if he were, I wouldn’t feel this way. She has hope. I have none.

The needle is in the cracked basin of the sink. Twelve yellowish cracks in the porcelain, one tiny drizzle of blood dripping down into the drain. In these lights I can see myself, I can my arms no bigger than yours. I can see my bones, my gaunt reflection. My naked body is not as I remember it and the mix of freckles and red marks that cover my arms is alarming and it is no wonder that God can’t save me. I am already dead.





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