Anxiety

Approach. Breathe in the flowers and fumes. Red skies, sad skies, pale waters. Black skeleton trees line the milky river banks, bedecked with wreathes of pink blossoms. I meander through and, wound spool of shining thread crossing gnarled trunks, searching for you. You wind about, stretching your synapses out to build up walls between the trees.

A raven perched on a bough cackles and flies right over my head.

And I feel dread, pooling in my gut. Rationality dismisses it, but the heart devours itself in acid.

Asphyxiate. Flesh walls close in. My heart dissolves into my body, taking me over. The waters I force down my throat make me all the more thirsty, and I tell myself to stop even as I cravenly take in the sorrow. You bury knives in my ribs, made from my ribs. I cannot succumb to bone of bone.

A rock is cast, a smooth stone that skips over the light-capped waves like a winged messenger.

And I see the fury of thorn-circlet wearing beings as they arise from the river. Sight makes them out as beautiful, but no relief graces the skeleton.

Apoplexy. My body turns against itself, enemy against the maggots that coil to form elastic muscles. I find you hidden in a hollow; the ossified earth caved in and covered by a layer of tarnished silver leaves. They are fragile, crackling and fragmenting into delicate pieces under my burn-scarred feet. Like you, broken and wearing a second skin of your own blood.

A shuddering chest, your cards all spent as you trapped yourself in your own organic creation.

And I know that this will be your ossuary. Denial almost comes, but is burnt up in moth-fire.

Action. You turned knives against me, bone of my bone, and in these circles you formed of grey flesh labyrinth and bone to bone, they draw ever tighter and ensnare us both close. So it is that I relinquish my bone, consciously taking it up in hand as you had before.

A speech long lost, silence falling on unheeding ears.

And I weave flowers into your matted hair – dark. Reliquary fashioned in fascination, starlight candles almost setting dingy leaves aglow.