i lay myself down again and again on that stone slab, like an altar, waiting to be sacrificed for your self-mastery - blood on earth's bones as proof of the sustenance of your pride, where i have none. i swallowed it down on the day of my birth in the midst of naked wailing - the hour in which i had nothing to hide, the only single hour. every secret i confide now is dropped like a tithing into thieving palms that only want more, more and more, pulling pearls impatiently from my choking throat. the ways in which you push me to the edge of my existence and what i am able to give - lions that tear at me yet force me to live when what i'd rather do is sleep or disappear between the molecules of these sheets or maybe the trees outside my window heavy with berries red as beats. to be set free from sentience and the barraging influence of social interaction that tames and chains us to a definition of what it means to be who we are in terms of paradoxical adjectives that describe singular layers rather than a whole, complete body of human existence. do you exist in your photographs, your paragraphs, your shadow on the ground? your autograph, your epitaph, the love that you have found? or are you, like music or a passing thought, intangible?
you are the ghost of everything i've ever lost - pride, dignity and all.