And on the seventh day, my body unrests into a less-than-holy reckoning.
On day 27,
I try to take a deep breath and my chest tightens
not like a vise, but a bellows with a diaphragm left slaughtered—
too weak to blow any life back into the ever-decaying fire.
On day 64,
the oxygen catches in my lungs and, I swear, this once-shelter threatens
to collapse in on itself. I am not a neglected building in a state of dilapidation, I am
an entire city of deafening detonators. Always one inhale away from destruction.
On day 103,
I play cards and think about how truly letting things go has never
been my winning hand. Even my heart fails—sending blood shooting back
into its atrium from a leaky valve no wretched fist has ever been able to fix.
On day 254,
my wildest nightmares involve breaking into the museum of medical horrors
for one reason only—to steal the unholy, perpetually-silenced organ worthy
of display that can be caged inside my ribs. Escape before sleep can thieve me.
Other days, I question how many times the alarms can be rung
until they become only a distant droning? How much death
can surround us before we lock ourselves away in the basement
just trying to acclimate to this cold, dirt-filled depth of earth?
How celebrations of life can turn into breeding grounds
for death with one wrong exhale.
Look, what I mean to say is, I have never felt more alive
just because I am surrounded by so much death.