i am saying i
and walking up some hillside
where my body becomes wind
and i love wind and i am so happy and sad.
i would live another year if for no other reason
than to feel it again.
i believe in ritual.
i listen to myself in the car with the window
halfway down. i imagine i’d fly out
and tumble down the road like a scrap of trash.
i’d be the cutest piece of trash in this city.
instead i wash my hands and train my voice
to sound like soft gusts against cold glass.
i push a lawnmower over my chin.
i paint my face with white and red and white
and more white.
i draw black lines to highlight separation.
i pull my body inside out and fall in love
with the feeling of not dying.
all of this labor is like some kind of prayer
to prove i deserve to exist in these spaces
to prove i deserve to exist in space
to prove i deserve to exist.
it is quiet in the morning.
i am female-bodied.
last night’s air is still
inside the trees.
a loud clap of thunder
from earlier this month
is stuck in the window.
i dress myself with
a large paper bag
and go outside in the wind.
and break into pieces
but nothing happens.
you come out and find me
alone in the grass
covered in a purple rash.
you call me lacking
and kiss me with the words
that erase me from existence.
everything i’ve done
comes from a place of dying.