Poem I wrote while considering violent ends
Rule number one of scary movies: never fight back. By the time he’s in your room, you’re too far gone. And by gone, I mean that liminality forgets itself, again and again. We never did work out where you go after that. In church, I was told once you’re at those gates, you’re in. Big and broad and gold, like you, like your stargirls. If it is on earth as it is in heaven, blood on the sheets. In the condom. And God, asking who did this to you. Rule number two of scary movies: you will never find out who did this to you. Being killed this many times, living a whole life between the house and the ground, makes it difficult to do anything except lie down and take it. Not even take it but love it like you were built for it. Like your lungs have finally overridden delusion, noticed they’ve been sucking up oxygen when they were meant to be crawling with dirt. You know several definitions of extinction, but your favorite is this one: “Suppression; abolition; annihilation.” There is nothing more extinct than you and nothing less dead. Enough knives in your mouth, and you start to miss the taste. Rule number three of scary movies: you will never love yourself more than this.
Inspired by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See
The problem is not that the light is not there, it is that the channels which should funnel it are all closed off, that the eyes which are beholden to stay the light no longer do. It is impossible for the boys to stamp out the light but not impossible for them to destroy smaller things. The fingers, the illusions, the birds. And the birds. In the French tradition, Death makes the dry bones rise every year, just to dance. In Germany, the bones must keep wet. O take me, take me up into the ranks. O take me up into air. The hands must learn to shape harder things, but they are not hounds; they have no teeth. They hasten fate like a prize horse. There is a type of flight that comes only after tragedy, the same way a skeleton’s waltz is imbued with unfinishedness; the same way a godwit stumbles home, cries for its mama, breath after breath after breath. I do not want to die in vain, what I want is to fall on the sacrificial mound.
What are you doing on the bathroom floor? a) birthing a child into the toilet feeling just like mary magdalene pushing out softheaded loudmouthed sarah, no holy pregnancy no virgin child this one’s born a slut, dripping wet like the coyote crawling out of the water in alabama howling like it’s going to be killed next tuesday b) cleaning up the blood c) vomiting like the classic drunken whore with the psycho at the door, teeth coming out into the basin of the tub but the dentist says you have two sets of molars so you will probably be fine, scrubbing at that goddamn shower while the monster cracks the door open definitely thinking you’re the newest iteration of final girl. and you don’t even have a knife; you’ve got your gums which anyone’ll tell you are infinitely crueler. baby on the tile – melonhead a bit cracked which makes you feel like you’re still pregnant – feel like your sarah is a phantom limb but really she’s right there on the ground, of course she is, looking the freak dead in the eye while you are still scrubbing that! goddamn! shower! d) getting off the bathroom floor – e) rinsing out the rag, taking sarah to bed she’s such a big girl now doesn’t it feel like she was just born dear, finding some sort of comfort with the killer laying on your mattress next to you. mask still on. letting him cradle your sarah even, slipping your tongue into his ear because he’s absolutely certain that you like it which of course you kind of do: he always jokes that desire is your middle name.
Theo Wylder is a young poet currently living in the American South and thinking a lot about queer identity and desire. He is a student and spends most of his time creating or studying, but when he’s free, he enjoys a good Stephen King novel.
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