There is comfort at the bottom of a swimming pool. In the cool tile beneath your forgiving arms, the patient silver-grey ladder. You watch the world in slow motion, 15 feet below the surface. Still. Monochrome. Crepe skin, strawberry lips. Rosewater. Scarlet ceiling tiles. You fall in love here. Name yourself stolen. Recognize ghosts (they may never leave your bloodstream). Make promises you can never keep. Fall further away from yourself. Sink to 20 feet below.
Pull me from the bathroom and restrain my hands. Kiss my inner thighs, force breath into my desperate lungs. Replace my esophagus with silver tubing, by brain with something more malleable. I suppose that I could be desired with a few adjustments. Selling variety meats, leaving behind those unchanging.
My dear, you deserve everything beautiful. Roses on your birthday. Endless seas and crisp blue nights. Beating hearts. Strong thread. Pearlescent buttons. Tender hands and soft words. Sweet oils. Miles of skin.
You are everything. And you don’t matter at all. You are burning, everyday, all of your stories rapidly dissolving to steam. You never parish. You become a new story, rise from fire and dust.
You keep your hand on the glass beside you. You strike the match.