the SS Forgo

we are touched with fire

you have cut the clock into seconds when you think you are okay
when you have torn the captain’s badge from your shirt
and now no one can hold you accountable
no one will know

we sing songs of madness and desire

in a cage hanging off the side of a hospital,
a girl will sit and write in her notebook [having been allowed a pen]
and will write HELP over and over again
until she runs out of paper and must write between the scars

we purge ourselves of fear

how many times must you cut yourself
until all the bad is gone
until all the guilt is gone
until you yourself are gone

the ship is sinking. but you are convinced no one will know.
you throw out the logs, smash the compass, wipe your finger
prints from the wheel, from the walls, from this position
you never wanted–you only wanted to see the sea, you only
wanted to be enveloped by white-tipped waves that tasted
so familiar to you, that tasted of your own tears. you thought
you had left that girl in the hospital behind. but now she
watches you with eyes from the curl of the last wave as the mast
breaks and the people scream and you begin to wash the deck
with a bucket of your own blood.

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to exist in the moment between the opening and closing of an eye–

not even breath will save you now, we drown in azure lightness
with honeycomb hearts that crumple at the slightest touch.
i have been here. i have been here before, at this place where
i am alone with myself and insane. my arms are starlit scars
that open again and again like mouths that will not shut up,
and the flesh of my abdomen swells with infection that i carry
as close to me as a baby, something i refuse to give up, for
without it, there is no meaning left in the lover’s touch so
soft against my face that pulls you in like a black hole–
you look at me and you are already doomed. there are teeth
that grind bone to powder here and lies as big as universes,
memory that has gone to ash but you can still wake and feel
the grit of it on your tongue. i was never more trapped than
when they said i could go. i was never more afraid than when
i had to name myself, explain myself for what i was and what
i had done. for how do you explain nothing, nothing, nothing.