Flesh Wreckage

“I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.” —Frida Kahlo  

[i]Winner of Screwed Me Up competition hosted by Caithasno_backbone
November 15th was my ex-girlfriend’s birthday. She constantly wanted to die. This poem is for every woman I ever loved who wanted to leave and for every person who chooses to stay.

Dead flowers fluent /the living bone of my antlers./ It is winter. /I am breathing smoke./  My hair blows /in the wind, /punctuates the daggers of light/ the sun drags against me./ This is what it is/ to be alive:/ my flank heaving with every hardened breath/ like a fist cleaving against the sky./ I am running. /I am running /because it is what I was made to do/ and my body never leans too heavy/ against my screaming bones. /My hooves /make drums of the ground/ beneath me. /I keep running/ even when my teeth grind against each other/ like a train wreck, /even when my body /begins to weigh on my bones /like the wreckage of flesh./ I run. /I run until I am tomorrow/ — wind breaking into wind./  
                                                                                           —a deer, dearest, November 13th  
I see it. /It is as large as a father./ It is a faux star./ From here, /as I am still running,/ breath hitched to labored breath, /it looks like a girl/ on fire./ It looks like a fetus/ gasping in the womb./ A wound. / A gift./ I keep moving toward it,/ not because it looks like a rising sun,/ but because, /somewhere deep down,/ I know that it is not./ Somewhere,/ I know that it is not a red brushstroke in the distance,/ but also, /I know it is not a star./ Large collection of light./ Me: blurred line of moving fur,/ almost like a girl’s dress—lifted and linear./ Now,/ right when I speed up my run/ to the quickest of movements/— that holiest flight—/, I look like a hyphen/ faded against the page./ So yes,/ I am the deer caked in midnight/ who follows that marvelous light/ to a slab of concrete./ I am the deer/ who imagines that concrete stretched out/ to make my body./ Strong and rigged,/ soft and pliable./ The sign,/ glowing bright with a soundtrack of crickets/ says the word night/ abbreviated as n-i-t-e./ Now, I open my mouth and try to say/ “,How willing men are/ to shorten everything/—even their days”/ but it comes out like a fucking genocide./ I slip./ I break./                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                       — a deer, dearest, November 14th  
                      I slip/ and see nothing but red;/ a whole world choking on sunset/ or blood./ Platelets. /Water. /Salt. /Protein./ I can not imagine/ why I slipped./ I love the ground,/ the forest./ And if you love something/ it has to love you back./ Correct?/ I scramble,/ flex,/ become nothing /more than the definitions/ of taut and terrified./ It takes me a moment, /or a lifetime,/ to see that everything is crimson leaves: /the sky,/ the ground,/ my fur./ I try to leave./ I try to stand./ I try to rise./ The light is only a moment away/— here is only a distance/ I have traveled while screaming./ A prayer on the tip of my tongue./ The sun/—invisible. God’s gone mouth./  
                                 My leg buckles/ and earthquakes/ and the night is dry/ and my hooves are slipping/ and I am moving/ toward the light./ And then I see her./ It is her birthday./ I know because of a sticker on her shirt./ But she is not smiling./ After,/ if anyone tells you she is smiling/ just know that they are lying./ Instead, /she is staring at me/ with a face softened with sun./ But somehow,/ somehow,/ she is still rigid./ Her muscles are as tight as mine/ as I move toward her,/ slow as a whisper./ I am limping,/ my leg broken in multiple places./ I am limping to her/ as if she is my goddess./ Her face unchanging/ as she holds her stomach,/ tight as a child./ She is wearing as much black as death/ and next to her/ is a boy/ who just exited the hotel behind them./ Young./ Breathing./ He walks closer/ to the girl with his mouth wide as a wound/ and he opens his wound wider to say to her,/ “I love—”./  
                                              When the car hits me/ it does what you would expect./  Makes even more of a ruin/ from my leg./ Little drops of blood/ like a woman in labor./ Laborious breath./ Hard as a stillbirth./My God,/ life is a distance untraveled./ I scream like a child being born/— or not./ My ribs shatter like glass,/ and now,/ when I see myself/ in the windshield/, in the crash,/ it leaves me breathless./ My hooves/ black as midnight./ Thunder:/ loud as a baby’s scream./My antlers:/ lightning or severed arms pasted together/—a multitude of hands trying to hold each other./ I hit the ground/ and I know/ I am choking on my own blood/ before the girl says it./ I convulse and twitch./ My body makes a ghost/ of my body./ Entrails hanging from my stomach/ like an offering/ to a god I have no option/ but to believe in./ I did not know/ it was so easy to be nothing./To be ghosted before you had a chance to live/ or a chance for alarm./ Curled fingers/ raking at the inside of my throat./Glass strewn across the concrete:/ perfect constellations/ to lead you anywhere/ but home./The car keeps going/ as if I were a ghost/ before I was a ghost./ The car keeps going/ and the boy/ and the girl/ do not./ The sky tears open like slit wrists./Rain,/ like tiny pills dropping into the darkness/that the girl will catch on her tongue./  
                                           And this entire time,/ all I could really think about/ is where the boy is now standing:/ in front of the girl./ As if he decided he had to stop the car/ from hitting her./ As if he could do such a thing/ with his bare hands/—empty./The girl/— her feet are pointed toward where the car was coming from,/ as if she was trying to walk out in front of it,/ her eyes barely alive./I imagine that she will kill herself./ I imagine her selfish./ What else to call her if she will leave the boy behind?/ And when she  speaks,/ her voice is shredded in my ears/ as if I am losing my hearing./ As I take my last breath she says/ “, I think that this is beauty./ When he leaves us/ he will never be in pain again.”/ She is smiling./ She is smiling/, and the boy behind her/ has tears on his face/— little crystal balls with nothing to give/ and everything to say./ And yes,/ finally,/ I sleep./        
                                                                               — deer, dearest, November 15th
Written by Pathospassion
Published | Edited 27th Oct 2017
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