so why do i like the skull so much, the one with butterfly wings glued to it? did you ever notice skulls are always smiling? hollowed out, simple, content. dead like a needle is dead. dead but still capable of producing pain. or envy in the case of the smiling skull. i want to smile always but i’m beautiful when i cry. that’s when i’m most honest: crumpled on the bathroom floor, whispering please. i’ve started drawing with my own blood. i painted a tree with my fingers and put little black ink flowers on the branches. i think you were embarrassed by my body and the heat it made. or maybe you were embarrassed by your body. that’s what they say right? judgements are self-truths diverted. or inverted. projected. i grew up with therapist parents. i have the lingo. no you-messages allowed. take a time out. stop poisoning me. push your fingers into your ears but not too far. don’t break the drum. don’t be seduced by light. light is just as mad as dark, and just as hungry. find the center and when you find it, don’t assume you’ll keep it. i’m talking to you again, my other soul. i say “my” like i own anything. meanwhile, mice are huddling under the leaves, waiting for the rain to give out. meanwhile, rain is falling, seeking the soft body of earth to take refuge in. meanwhile, the sky is blue above the clouds.