Aura Girl Series No. 10

This is what I’ve been telling myself for the last ten minutes, Wait, breathe.

Thoughts know who I am without even trying.

Trust me, you said.

Have I?

I don’t trust myself very often. But when I do, the ground opens up.

Spine-truths, you used to say, come in moments of stillness. I laughed, looked out the window.

Tell them about the hollowed-out feeling.

The bed as a cage. Dreams as an escape. Or sometimes a prison.

The hollowed-out feeling? I look out windows often.

Tell them what the biting feels like.

If I shake my head from side to side, I remember being a child and doing the same motion again and again until I fell down, dizzy from wanting to disappear.

I’m walking down a platform, waiting for a subway and a man with a bottle sings low, low. He has a calling, he says, to be the “Dead Man”

I walk the length of the platform, telling myself I’ll keep away from the edge.

Imagine I’m in New Mexico. I’m a girl. On a boat in the middle of a pond.

I don’t feel 12, I write. I feel 30.

Hunched over a notebook, resisting cutting into my thigh.

It’s the same feeling I get as I keep away from the edge ofthe 6.

As though I’ve emerged from a dream, I walk to the corner of Lexington.

There are strangers passing. I think I see their auras. I don’t. I do. The birch is sunken into itself. The city hangs all over me.

I have a calling to be the “Dead Man.”

I’ve been telling myself this for the last ten minutes, Wait. Breathe.

What do you want from me?

Last night, I wanted to crawl into the groundand be done with it.

Everything tastes of light, you said.

I want to do away with the Other.

As though I’ve emerged from a dream, I tell you that I can’t keep myself contained.

So don’t, you said.

A man who called himself The Dead asked me what I wanted with my life.

I think I used to see auras, I said.  I don’t anymore.

Tell them about the hallowed-out feeling.

I’ve been crying in Starbucks for the last ten minutes.There’s nothing in me that wants to be alive. That’s what I mean.

On the other side of the Other, is a cage.

I have a calling to be the Dead Man, he said.

I think I’m going crazy, I said.

So go crazy.

I can’t. I’m scared.

Of what?

Silence. My own rage.

When I was a kid, I used to take it out on the body.

I want to do that again.

Instead, I write.

Tell them what the hallowed-out feels like.

It starts with rage. A man touches a girl. Sometimes we fuck each other to express our pain. On the other side of the Other is a cage.

I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know how to heal it.

I used to see auras but now I see numbers. Everywhere, a pattern that doesn’t make sense.

The mystery of this is in the Dead Man. That’s his calling, he says. I believe him.

A woman may weep for an hour at a bus stop for no reason. Sometimes I hug trees to feel loved.

The city hangs on me. A birch tree is bitter.

Once, I curled myself in my bathroom and opened up my armagain and again to express an unexplainable pain, call out, God.

On the other side of the Other is a cage.

Second, it doesn’t matter how many times you shake your head side to side, you won’t disappear. Some people drink.

I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know how to heal it.

Finally, grace, you speak. It’s sour. Nothingness on thebacks of flowers.

I don’t trust myself very often, but when I do, the ground opens up.

Thoughts know who I am without even trying.

Spine-truths come in moments of stillness, you said. I laughed, looked out the window.

Imagine eating a whole length of spine. Imagine I’m in New Mexico, I’m a girl.

The Dead Man says, yes. I remember her. She found a horse carcass on the side of the mountain.

I cut her open, I said, stole her spine, buried it.

Go back. The hallowed-out feeling says, go back.

There’s nothing in me that wants to be alive. That’s what I mean.

Trust me, you said.

Have I?

Finally, grace, you speak. It’s sour. Nothingness on the backs of flowers.

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