heart’s content

By riel

i always have something crawling under my skin. yesterday
it was millipedes, half-dead from being run over by cyclists
too engrossed in their playlists to hear the crunch of a million
legs. today it is the shaking, trembling urge to leave the closet
in a darkened house while being stalked by an axe murderer,

and tomorrow it will be the sick, sinking puddle of regret
spreading like vomit into a carpet that has seen it all too many
times before

and the day after it will be the blood off a blade, preoccupied
with squashing me under it’s sharp, terrible heel, because after
all i have offered myself up

like a lamb to slaughter, and wasn’t it then just a matter of time? it’s
not homicide when it’s deserved. when you ask for it. that’s the whole
problem, you see,

i am not scared of dying. i am terrified
of being killed.

it’s all the same to me,
the way my bones tremble, thrumming with my heartbeat like a full-
body earthquake, itching with the ghost of a thousand fractures

and bleeding me dry
from the inside out. it’s all the same, how i agree with everything you
say and then drain the corruption from my wounds afterwards,

because this disease
has no vaccination, no cure, no hope. the edema in my heart throbs
incessantly, and i cannot reason with it anymore; all i can do is give up

and if i don’t shut up about it you know why— you know it’s because i
am dying and it’s terminal. you know it’s because i have no choice,
that this abscess is begging to be opened, and all it contains is pain. i
speak only because i have come to fear silence, more so than the heavy,
deliberate footsteps on the floorboards and scrapes of metal on the door,

for even hell is preferable to limbo
and i want so badly to be laid to rest.


riel is a student who only does homework while in queue for video game matches and only writes poetry after a mental breakdown— the rest of their time is spent consuming/creating visceral horror content, skating fast, and deliberating over which toilet to use when out in public. they are also on instagram @aphelionics.

Image: @chrisbair via Unsplash

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