by First Light
A poem in prose.
|“By the way…”|
He knew by the tone of her voice what this was going to be all about. He could feel the vibrations of her throat flitting gently over flesh where the skin had been torn away, where some kind of filthy, abrasive surface had carved little grooves of human meat out of it, a patch of red mush peppered with dirt. As if it made a difference. As if it could somehow soothe away the hurt.
He didn't need that type of kindness.
“I hear he’s coming back tonight.”
He opened his mouth. Shut it again over his spoon, made it seem like the most natural motion in the world. His teeth clinked on stainless steel. Rice seeped into the raw inside of his cheeks, the puffy sweetness mild on his tongue. His hand did not waver, his lips did not twitch, the scream coiling inside him did not burst free.
So far, so good.
He made a sound at the back of his throat as he chewed, just as he would if she had been talking about the weather or her work or the latest news. Inconsequential things. Certainly nothing that would make him start laughing or sobbing into his food. Tension had scribbled shadows around his eyes, but they were fading now, dissolving into a dull ache that throbbed behind his eyes. It was familiar, this pulsing rhythm, this pain. It was something he could handle. He had long resigned himself to the fact he would always carry it within him. It was certainly better than the quiet terror that had been gathering in the pit of his stomach, better than the twisted, curdling shards of laughter that kept boiling over just under the surface of his skin - breathe, breathe, that's it you're getting there just breathe oh god it's not working it's not working
- slivers of it seeping through, past the terror and self-loathing -
because no matter what happens you're finally going to see him again
even if it's from a distance
even if he shows that expression that makes you want to tear the skin off his face and look for the him that had been but no
you've hurt him enough already
it's all your fault your fault
all you want
you just want
just to see him again
just for a while
just for a little while