i try to breathe smashed up against my elbow
but i don't forgive the cold slide of my arm into the pocket between my ribs
and i press my fingers into the hollow dip between the edges of my lips and my teeth
and cut up my knuckles because my teeth are sharp from grinding.
i strung up money bands like garland and now when the bed shakes everything sounds like paper, like
paper sirens when i twist my arm around to tug down the shade,
or paper car alarms when i throw an arm over my eyes,
or paper alarm clocks when i toss around in my sheets and my skin, the sun making them both curl.
a pulse starts wriggling in my thumb and i whine, pressing my hand into the mattress to stop it.
the moon shoves light in through the window and i can see every hair on my arm and the white-out bottle on my desk.
if my eyes weren't so heavy i'd stumble around the halls in my bare feet
looking for someone with a stomach and a washcloth to tell me why i'm not alive.
four hours ago, i muffled my head with a stuffed animal and kept my temperature down with my forehead pressed to the wall,
and the girl across the hall, lesbian leather anecdotes still shining on her lips, looked at me and said, "so, you think you might be gay?"
i stared at the folds of the comforter and my hips throbbed and i responded, articulately.