im going to include a short description of what all this stuff is before each piece to provide some extra context. a lot of this stuff is super old. i think the perspective that i have with art now, at least for my own personal stuff is that its not a trade. youre not building a table. the most important thing about art is what it means to the person that made it and if you dont get where im are coming from, it doesnt matter how good you think the art i make is technically, i wont be satisfied by what you have to say about it. for me, art is self expression first and foremost. i used to care about quality but then i never felt any emotional connection to what i made and also always felt like i was never good enough. and now i like my art because i meet it on its own terms and i also make more of it. i want people to understand me, i dont want to be evaluated, its just dehumanising even when people like what you make. anyway, hope you enjoy!


not sure of title
3rd October 2023

I was never ignorant of sex. Not once

   in my life. I was innocent but not

in the way other children were.

Instead, I was innocent to the violence

   inherent to my existence, like a loaded gun.

It hurt, but I didn’t know that.

I wonder what it would have been like.

   To have known a world before. Maybe that would hurt too.

I died before I was born. I died without knowing

I had died. Exposed early should have meant inoculated.

   Instead I was sick, with no idea how obvious it was.

You take the heavy feeling for granted,

thinking you're lucky. The sky is blue.

   I think I’ve been bearing the weight of the sky

on my shoulders my entire life.

I want to learn what I already know.

   Everyone else is growing up into who I already am.

It’s too late for me to learn what I already know.

i dont wanna look at myself in the mirror no more

   cos i always look the same way i always did-

Like a child. Like a child that doesnt know it's a child.

Seven Down, Three To Go, Woof Woof
31st August 2022

haven't done a sonnet in ages :D hope u like, i wrote this and the one directly under it while stoned out of my mind

Un-leash me, red hot hand pawing me down

like water pours down yielding cliffs of clay.

The tightness leather brings my throat can drown

the knowledge held of rightful shame away.

Don’t collar me surprised; instead, pursue

my throat to soak in rich unravelling hues.

Lush saucers welcome my sly swipes for your

unfettered, full attention darling, or-

Your milk, it tastes too sweet to handle, oh

good G-d, that’s good, my form, now-full, can’t start

to take the blazing of your eyes. Please sow

your seeds, your threads, so deep they thread my heart

& knot up into balls & strangle veins—

Don’t make me say the phrase, “Please take the chains”.

An Odd Hankering of Alyssa Rodrigues-Hope's
31st August 2022

Three bowed pink bears with cameras

nesting deep inside their stomachs,

ignorant all-seeing eyes. Infestor wires

hum, as one, a gentle high-pitched tone

on each of my room’s flat surfaces:

desk: bookcase: night-stand.

Their attention is almost a loving gesture

and ‘almost’ is close enough for me.

The human mind is more than one organ:

It is an orchestra of sensory inputs.

When you strike a child on the hand,

the child forgets but the hand remembers.

You three will remember me, won't you?

Even once the thrum inside you dies and,

severed from your hub, you lose your sight,

the stone-like love inside your bladders

will bleed; bleed, dear sentinels; into the plaster

in my walls, into my soft flesh like spores

and bump off electrons in vital organs,

re-replicate-re-replicating into snowball

boulders that build more boulders. He

was the conductor of a pianola; singing,

even now, long into the night, love, love;

though he’s no longer the one who plays.

Giving You The Best Of Me
29th August 2022
my first attempt at prose poetry

I’ve taken myself down to the pond. I can’t support my own weight so I fix my buoyant hands on its surface. Stare up at me, thin shimmer, white veneer at noon. Our eyes split, cell-like, and rejoin, cannibalising their own walls. They squint, smile-like, though I remain motionless. This strange hotel is full of cavities. Its facade wears a fresh coat and boasts of better days, of youth squandered long before others could blanket it in a shallow envy — maybe next time. You are honoured, oh foil of mine, and so they leave you, unwrinkled delicacy, lest the novelty threatens to fade. The novelty never fades — wonder how the plumbing looks these days. Your hollow grin is foundationless. Even so, try chewing on this — it’s late now. They’ll remember you, tin man. Long after my pipes have burst, gummed up in thick tar and shed hair. It’s late now. I am pulling my palms away from yours but all I see when they turn to face me is the backs of your hands and bubbles escape like tears from under my fingernails. Rise to your knees, figment. Fragment. I can’t say I regret you. I can’t say anything under the weight of all this stagnant water.

The Plains
25th August 2022

when I was seventeen,

my family moved into

The White House

motel: work for

rent, rent for heat,

not cheap on that

unrelenting plain,

empty except for the

cows who tongue

cold metal bars,

no trains left on

the track, the

empty track

that bars no man,

beside our house

with no glass,

glassless, curtain-

less, we’re locked

inside with the wind

-ows broken, the wind


no trains left

here, no hills, no

tongued thing.

Ode to Valentine’s Day Foil Balloon (approx. 1.5 years old)
25th August 2022

Immortal Heart,

tin mimic, still-beater

—even when cheap,

this Love lasts.

Ode to 18th-Birthday Hat
25th August 2022

I’m nineteen

& you are a lustrous gold

with a streak of kaleidoscopic

lime, electric purple, magenta,

swerving up your dented slope

like a stream-lined slice

through an arrowhead.

Did you know you were coming with me?

your cheap elastic unsnapped even now.

Though your mouth stands floorwards,

sucking the head of my giant stuffed bear

like a stubborn & vigorous limpet,

you cup Time,

wrangle it like a snake,

& proudly hoist it


The Paper Curtain
20th August 2022

When you start to undress in front of me,

I imagine a paper curtain between us.

Your silhouette could be enough.

I could follow your every movement,

the rise and fall of your chest,

I could almost feel the heat

of your skin, like winter sunlight

—subtle, gently persevering,

I could almost trace the give

of the shadow of your stomach,

it’s pressure against my back,

and the heavy scent of your body,

I could feel your low voice resonate

through the muscles of my neck,

Through the paper curtain, never missing,

I could know the bounds of each contour,

And it could be okay to want you that way.

My dim stare, pulseless yet

fretful, barred at a safe distance,

never splitting your shadow.

But there is no paper curtain.

So instead I look away.

Ode to My Boyfriend (Who Needs To Buy A Double Bed)
20th August 2022

When I allow my body to soften, breathe in,

It pools into the blackest hollows of my psyche.

Shadows of forms my waking heart can’t bear,

Livid nightmares, dreams I deny myself, set aglow.

it hurts to let go — it hurts to remember.

I confess this to you by gripping your hand,

tentatively. You grip mine back, interlocked, and say,

“I already know you.” Your palm’s edge, breathe out,

matches mine exactly. I already know you too.

Ōreti Beach/Ode to the Toheroa
13th August 2022

the wind on the sand makes a ghost of its face

   tracing it’s surface and hailing my skin

this beach laying flush has a featureless grace

   the pockets of quahogs sigh softly within

the weight of the residents driving their cars

   squishes the muscles from out of their skulls

fractures run deep here, the haunt of their scars

   in arteries bloodless fill borer-dug shells

violence a gentle thing, subtle and sweet,

   all that it takes is a second of load

how do you suck your tongue under your teeth?

   the roof has collapsed, your cracked chassis enclosed

suppose there were ways we could dig up your bones

   show the whole township your jilted remains

they treat tender flesh like wet trash or like stone

   “put that thing back in the ground whence it came”

but you were here long before human or wheel

   tunnelling ceaselessly ‘neath the seabed

nothing is barren, the sand just conceals

   the catacombs sprawling, lush, inhabited

though others regard you as vagabond wards 

   for eons your brethren have laid down their claim

lovers and brothers and children of lords

   have passed you all over, yet still you remain

don't sit there with your dick in your hand
10th of August
oh yeah babey, its another pantoum!

in the smothering heat of today

i sit in the car and the door slams

when my mother turns to me to say

don't sit there with your dick in your hand

i sit in the car and the door slams

she leaves me before i can reply

don't sit there with your dick in your hand

how the hell am i meant to comply

she leaves me before i can reply

in the smothering heat of today

how the hell am i meant to comply

when my mother turns to me to say;

cant remember who this was about
10th of August
oh yeah babey, its a pantoum!

jittering with your hand on your phone,

mouth dry as your grip regains tension,

i can vaguely remember this tone

though i dont call it into attention.

mouth dry as your grip regains tension

vision hazy remembering how

though i dont call it into attention

the same duke with a blow struck me down.

vision hazy remembering how,

jittering with your hand on your phone,

the same duke with a blow struck me down

i can vaguely remember this tone.

Forever, home.
8th August 2022

Emergency Room
8th August 2022

   Of the thousands of patients nurses meet each year,

Do they remember 200? 80? 35?

   When we breach the plexiglass wall at reception

with a name and an order, is there pity for us?

   Or do we remind them of a tumor, a paralysing cyst,

a dead infant? Our sulking faces a caricature of the cases

they tuck beneath their eyelids

         (to avoid violating confidentiality)?


They man their plastic stations

like McDonald's drive thru workers

"What can I help you with today?"

Suspended under the artificial light

of their office, performing care & warmth;

They cannot see the audience.

  and much like lighthouse operators,

tracking distant blips, they can only forget us

or hope that when our ships drift from view

   they have landed in calm bays

 and not fallen into the abyssmal horizon.

Vincent Reappropriated
7th August 2022
vincent is an alter of mine

My memory captures in long exposure.

It warps all forms like molten glass.

Each and every grain of sand digested

into a blazing warp.

The belly of the glass is womblike-

it does not knock. It does not know

permission, dignity, or death. It simply


To maintain an object's integrity is futile.

It is a war of your will against the bleeding

of ink & water. You must learn to love

new hues.

  but can I learn to love this?

  & can anything be salvaged from a man who loves

to lose?

return to me
5th August 2022

Clouds like clenched fists, tight around caged water.

Piercing clap of a thousand mocking waves.

Barren cliff, you bursting dam, faller, breaker, trembling under weight of gull

Look down on me.

Body but a breathless anchor

   heaving with the sea.

Moved by cryptid currents

   twisted puppet of debri.

Becoming but a shimmer now

   succumbing to the shore

Look down on me, look down on me,

   my hurt reduced to gore.

Breaking down's not easy

   it requires special help.

They know not what they feast upon,

   my friends among the kelp.

Blooming like a plume of smoke,

   erupt, snuff out my flame.

Shunt my shell with childish hands,

   please shake me out my blame.

Ashes but a school of fish,

   to swim the open breeze.

Fleets of flying seafoam;

   it's the joy of fresh disease.

Loss is but a looking glass

   that cracks the brilliant sun.

Bounding off each ripple,

   waning crescents join to one.

Ode To Brutus
2nd August 2022

Your likeness is a memory

   of someone now long dead.

The leaden burden borne by fluff,

   the pliant strength of thread.

Your ancient body perseveres

   as mine proceeds to grow,

Yet I only hold you tighter

   'gainst the beating of the snow.

On nights where fever seals me in

   I ponder in the dark

If my lonesome body heat

   retains your faithful mark

How long will you remain with me?

   as if you had a choice.

As if there was a person there

   when I can't hear your voice.

Echoes of a vaguer time

   the tender heart forgets

Are pressed into your blackened paws

   like footprints in moquette

That yellowed wool pulled out your chest,

   a gift from me to you,

Makes your loll unstable, yes my friend,

   you're empty too.

A Sullen Workhorse's Fifth Year Anniversary
1st August 2022

I've forced myself into these reins

   For half a decade now.

I force myself into my reins

   And fastened to the plough,

I force myself into my reins.

   The leather's buckling scowl

Taunts my aging body when

   It threatens not to bow.

Everyday the farmer calls.

   My ears flinch at the sound.

He sits atop me, armed with spurs,

   A petty tyrant crowned.

The field's spanning evermore

   A pockmarked skin of brown

And in my senseless plodding

   I begin to spite the ground.

I force myself into my reins.

   Years pass as I forget

There once was something joyous

   In the meager chance to sweat.

A body like a flexing oak,

   The folly it abets.

I force myself into my reins.

   I'm paying back the debt.

I force myself into my reins

   As no one else would care

To pull me from my stable

   To the chilly, clinging air.

The workers, they must see me

   Pressing through the snow severe

To know my legs still function.

   As the night draws close, I hear

The gnashing of the closing gate

   Upon the faded truck

That spells the fate of anyone

   Who dares to fall or buck.

I force myself into my reins.

   They'll know I earn my keep,

Though the plenties that I sow

   Are less than what I reap.

30th july 2022

i yearn for care.

He pats down each of his wet limbs

Like dabbing the mouth of an infant.

"I'll get you something hot to drink

-go lie down & rest." To think

That this was all he asked for.

The sheets are crisp. They soften

-to his touch. The lights are dim.

The muffled air that hums sweet hymns.

Breathing easy, death is a distant thing

-in this world where his hands are guided

-to his cup. He sips it as he lays in bed.

Filled. The warmth of being fed.

dirty ike
24th may 2022

poem about groomer gf. dirty ike was mike tyson's nickname as a child because he used to make a lot of money robbing houses and doing street fighting [as a literal nine year old] so he'd buy all this expensive clothing, except because he was nine he didnt know how to clean it or take care of it so he'd just do shit like clean out his pigeon coop or whatever in his expensive clothes and stink like shit all the time.

i remember this affected me a lot because he said this in an interview with a live audience and they all laughed at his stories, i think out of shock. but thats how people react to me as well when i talk about my life, they are either just shocked or they laugh. i think some experiences are so painful people who dont yet understand them try to distance themselves so they are not as affected by ur pain.

9th may 2022

poem about groomer gf.

something'th november 2021

first poem i ever wrote about groomer gf. stuff like this is really hard to read in retrospect. the worst thing about my poetry is that it reflects who i am when i write it, so you end up with pretty accurate documentation of the worst times in my life and im completely oblivious at the time. hopeful about whats gonna happen. ~insidious~

I stand at the foot of your cave.

I’ve been calling your name and

Waiting for it to touch me again.

When the flood of the noise brushes

Its hands past my face, i can hear

You but only on my skin. Only on

My skin. And I need to pull you

Deeper so I call your name again

Waiting barefoot for your return.

When the flood of the noise washes

Over me, the waves are gentle but

Cold. I want your love, your flesh

And blood. My body craves the

Pushback of your solid hand.

I feel teased by the hint of the

Pressure. If I could pull the damp air

Between my jaws, please, just to feel

Something of you that won’t give way.

I want to be the best you ever had

And I want you to want that from me.

For the cobbles of your collapsing walls

To gnash me down and swallow me up

And in that tender embrace

To breathe your thick air in.

Did you ever see me as your boy?

I sometimes saw you as my woman.

16th november 2019

when i was 16, i got really into writing sonnets. not the first one i ever wrote but probably the only half decent one. this stuff was written during my first psychotic break (from stress, i dont have any psychotic disorders).

Flesh stretched over bone tucked behind each ear

Lodged in gum beds decaying in warm brine

Rolling marbles watch features swim and smear

Each voice to call not mine nor mine nor mine

Tick forward evermore churning fluid

Corrosive since conception, its feeding

Pace in circles, attempt to dilute it

Too late im dead, the moment was fleeting

My pores dilate inching further open

Where there once was holes in flesh there are now

Rivers of tendons between holes, roping

Wrapping and strangling, they crumble and bow

That soothing mold where once my whole was held

Plagued by sinkholes sucked my soul underground

counting sacrificial sheep
19th august 2019

i always hated the title of this one. honestly i still really like this one, im proud of edgy 16 yr old me. personally siginificant. wrote this one for a crush of mine, tried to submit it to a school publication but they denied me because it was too disturbing (though they did tell me to try again next year, and thats when i got to have in honour of S.K. published :3)

I had the most wondrous dream.

My hands embraced your throat

And clicked into the cartilage

As if joined by fate itself

Like long lost lovers

Like sworn adversaries

Your eyes met mine

God, how they did ignite!

The last emergency flares

Before sinking into churning oceans,

Succumbing to their fate

Bowing before Delphic powers

Your garbled last words

Sang my name in awe,

Breathless and mesmerised,

And rang like wedding bells

Joining in holy matrimony

My desire to eradicate

And your desire to lie

Lifeless in my grasp

Oh my love, our souls

Must have fused because

I feel myself dying too

And every capillary is in bloom

And all of you is wilting

Our bodies now equally emptied vessels

I awoke in a cold sweat

My heart aching with a thousand voices

Chanting your obituary

Good Lord forgive me.

Cleanse me of my wicked urges.

These lurid and sickening desires

Haunt me in its presence

And yet I am sent into trances unbreakable

By the mere imitation of its form

I walked out into the nearby fields

A fallen baby bird lay before me

It reminded me of you

Soon it’s mangled corpse lay before me

That too reminded me of you

Father who art in heaven,

These ghastly apparitions

Threaten to drag me from your light

And i am tormented by their

Saccharine sweetness

Aphrodite's blood and bile on my tongue

Give me the strength that I might

Vanquish and wash from my hands

The stains it’s beautiful bruises

Pressed tightly into my damned

And lousy flesh



the child groom
1st may 2022
a forest dating a human being

The seasons shifted overhead, clouds swept by the gales of time but everyday was twilight - neither day or night, floating away. This garden is a bed. The forest has been half-sleeping for a long time. Trampled underfoot, she lay in a low hum. Her body plucked like a wave, and spoke in a hushed tone. Few disturbed her and all disturbances were swept downstream in an instant, in a thousand years, the difference imperceptible to her.

A hunterboy, spry with youth, entered her domain. He was clearly inexperienced. He chased rabbits into their burrows, spearing one, sparing many more, his aim headless, his arms lean, his hair thick and wooly. At noon he would bathe naked in the stream and at night he would rest on thick pillows of moss. She watched as she had done so many times before.

Curiously, he watched her too. He’d spend hours with her in silence, her splendor his full attention. In the autumn, to her rot; in the winter, to her bite; in the spring, to her yawning florets. This, till the day their eyes greeted each other. Entering into the wet mouth of her cave, glittering with condensation, their eyes locked.

She took a sharp breath in.

She rose.

There was a long silence.

“It’s been a long time—” she cut herself short. “It’s been a long time.” He gently sat beside her. They both had already come to know each other, years of careful watching.

“You’re quite tall,” he murmured, relaxing his hand on hers.


“Tall and stiff, you’re petrified, m’lady,” he teased. She held her breath. Then both of them burst into laughter.

“It’s good to finally meet you, boy.

They spoke for hours, never growing tired. She was fond of him, more than fond. The nights became jet black, the days long and stark with him by her side. Every day a peaceful crawl to the next.

Their feet paddled in her brook.

“I could spend my life here, inside your garden,” he smiled, naive. She turned away but he knew she was smiling too.

“I have seen men like you rise and fall in a breath. I have seen countless newborn corpses just like yours. You will be no different. Even now, you are dying,” but she was smiling. She was smiling as she said this. She began to cry.

Knowing her well, he took her hot face in his hands and licked her tears. Her laugh like summer thunder,

“Yes, I will be,”

and consummated their love. Consummated, the gale’s reversal, strong whiplash clearing the conscience. Tidal motion, when the leopard jumps from the periphery into full view. When they woke, hot and wet and alive; was regret an option? Love is a tumor, blossoming blindly.

His body blossomed in adulthood. She could feel each bud burgeon and wilt, each incremental change. She almost felt herself age alongside him, tethered to the moments they shared together. To be remembered was to be part of each other. To be whole.

“You’re the same as the day I met you,” he sighed heavy-chested, “some day my time will wane, my love.”

“I will never forsake you. Spend eternity here with me. I will be there. I will watch you wane.”

His eyes were glass.

“You will stay, won’t you?”

He did. Of course he did. Wouldn’t she do the same for him, if she could?

As the cliffs dropped into the river: as the drifting moon’s orbit: as the bark was eaten into the earth: he waned. Each time he bloomed, he dulled. Some dull blade’s edge worn against the sand. As his eyes turned to glass, more and more she saw her soft reflection, eternal here, eternal.

The day came. While climbing her branches, he fell. She cradled him, his bones impossibly fragile, little sparrow.

“You have eclipsed me,” he said. “You are a forest. I am a man. When we met, I was a boy, now I am dying in your arms.”

“But together, don’t we feel timeless?”

“Yes. But you are timeless. I have lived my entire life here for you. You couldn’t do the same if you tried.”

And then, he died.

in honour of S.K.
probably 13th march 2020
first short story i ever wrote

The rattle of the wind against the shutter boards woke me. This house was never a match for that ghastly gale that soared over the endless plains it was stationed in. It's a wonder such a structure was ever built. Standing, or rather teetering, at two storeys, its upper floor took the brunt of the bad weather. It rocked unsteadily in varying degrees of dilapidation depending on the season. I was not known for my carpentry skills nor my diligence, but the excruciating gales of winter renewed my spirit for repairs annually without fail. Like Santa, I only worked one day out of the year. Unlike Santa, I couldn’t afford to wait until snow fell to begin my labours. I'd fasten the cheapest timber I could find to the original structure, or what remained of it, and by the time spring arrived, the wind had peeled the planks away into piles onto the floor. Luckily for me, the bottom floor was nestled beneath the hedgewalls. Untouched by anything, bar me and the dustmites, only the shutter boards rattled.

At noon, my feet finally found their way to the floor. Time for the daily rounds. I pawed gingerly towards the front door, back hunched. If the delivery men were still outside, I would have to crouch out of the way of the windows. Otherwise, they’d pelt me with pleasantries and “how do you do, here’s your bill”’s and the slight squint of their eyes as the greasy miasma emanating from my matted, unwashed hair pelted them back. A war of overwhelming senses. I pick my battles wisely. That day, I did not have to wait. A bag of canned foods, then one of breads and spreads, and yet another of sweet, salty non-perishables. The bags found their way to the kitchen floor, with much effort on my part. They collapsed on top of each other in a heap. Not one of my breads survived. I had foolishly stacked the canned goods at the top of the pile.

I made my way down the hall to the toilet. I never bothered closing the door, and so my vision would stretch far beyond the confines of the bathroom into the adjacent room; empty, except for a locked wardrobe.

More often than not, that wardrobe was simply another antique for me to gaze blankly at as I sat upon my porcelain throne. But that day it caught my attention. The dark mahogany stood stark and proud against the splintering oak walls, ceiling, and floors. The latter buckled slightly under the weight of it. In exceptionally good condition it towered, undisturbed like a great hunk of granite in a pile of concrete rubble. Someone had bound it shut and they had spared no effort in doing so. The chains trailed haphazardly over every surface of the wood like ivy and bramble, collected in a bundle over the handle of the left door by a padlock the size of a grapefruit. The quintessential security system - even with bolt cutters, the chains were so tangled, it would take hours to unravel.

This house had been under my jurisdiction for a decade and a half. In comparison to its previous tenders, I was a fledgling resident. It had been passed from youngest child of the generation down to youngest child of the next for eons and I would be no exception. My family considered it to be a great honour, at least while they were in my presence. Behind closed doors, it's more likely they were attempting to quarantine me. In either case, the festivities surrounding my homeownership had not taken place inside the owned home. Instead, we ate and drank inside the undeniably more palatable gazebo that, until last winter, had sat quaintly in the centre of the hedgewalled backyard. Borer crawled through its every nook and cranny, silently chewing year after year. It was eventually smothered in the snow. It had not been thoroughly inspected. Neither had any other facet of the homestead. Even now, the property remains a mystery to me.

Dust lay so thick on the floor, the smaller of the cockroach runts had drowned in it. The wardrobe, however, was spotless. There were no marks on it, not a scratch nor a rust stain tainted its stoic face. The padlock required a key of enormous proportions. If it had not left the house, it would have to be somewhere obvious. Most areas of the house could barely support the weight of a pinky finger, let alone a large metal mass.

The floors were swept, the windowsills too. Every square inch of the wardrobe was scrutinised. Both storeys had been rummaged through. Trinkets and knick-knacks were piled and unpiled, tossed about with reckless abandon. And yet, for my efforts there had been no reward. As the moon began to set in the early morning twilight, my fervour settled into a frustrating submission to my fate. I would have to begin again tomorrow.

Outside along the hedges, there was a drawer I had left in the most sheltered area of the garden along with a dainty wooden stool. The wind dared not touch that place, so as not to drive me away along with the rest of the property. Indeed, it was the perfect smoking spot. The drawer had two compartments; one for whiskey and one for tobacco. But given my drunken self’s eclectic taste in pastimes, it also housed candy wrappers, novelty playing cards, and fortune cookies. It sealed almost airtight, never had I experienced an unlightable pipe due to dew or dampness. My pipe comfortably slid into my palm. The bowl was lit without difficulty. I breathed deep into my stomach and the night began to swirl.

I puffed and puffed till I had to support my head with both hands to keep myself from rolling out of my seat. I muddled through a very short lived game of solitaire, a woefully unfruitful round of “Lick-The-Candy-Wrapper”, and finally a reluctant fortune-telling session. The cookies themselves provided little sustenance. The quote inside the cookie read, “The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies”. Depressing and a bit redundant. It's not exactly a betrayal if you never trusted the person in the first place. Whiskey entered the picture. The dawn hours fell away from recorded memory as a result.

Curious. Curled like a garden snail in my linens, I awoke upon my shag rug. It's past three o’ clock. Time for the daily rounds.

I resumed my hunt at around a quarter to six. I double checked the places I had already been, I crawled under the house to check beneath the floorboards, I even peeked inside the toilet chamber. Fruitless. On one of my triple-checking patrols, my mind happened to stop on a wooden door, camouflaged beneath the stairwell. Of course. Caught up in the excitement of opening a frustratingly well sealed box, it had slipped my mind entirely to check the broom closet. My ignorance to its existence was partly purposeful, I was always a fair weather friend. Cleared of its usual residents, I examined each wall and then lined my cleaning utensils up for closer inspection. The dustpan? Plainly innocent. Empty as the day it was moulded. Sweeping broom? A little suspicious on account of those bristles, but revealed to be perfectly trustworthy. Vacuum cleaner? Inspected reluctantly, as the most well loved member of my arsenal.

Caught red handed. It had somehow swallowed the key whole. The bag was ripped in twain and the key was finally recovered. All the cleaning utensils were packed away and the vacuum cleaner was relined. I will forgive you this time, you treacherous bastard.

I wanted to wait until nighttime to open the wardrobe. I’m sure whomever I found in there would appreciate the dramatic lighting, even if they happened to be a petrified rat or a stack of old shoes. In the meantime, I unearthed my fanciest candles from their pile and set forth on the celebratory ornamentations.

In a one-woman cutting of the ribbon ceremony, I slipped in the key into the wardrobe. Click. Victory! My feet pitter-pattered about the wardrobe. The chains dropped to the floor like an avalanche of tambourines. I almost sang. My hands flitted about the handles, hummingbirds. They practically buzzed. A testament to the quality of the carpentry, the wardrobe barely flinched. Not a creak nor groan was uttered from its hinges, not a clue was offered as to what lay beyond its doors. And so, knowing nothing, I proceeded in my frivolous pursuit.

Rot slashed the air.

Its moan. Its terrible, wet gurgle. Writhing on the water-logged cabinet floor, it had the shivering slick appearance of a tumor that had sprouted hair and teeth, that moved only by the accidental stimulation of its remaining nerve system. And yet, its eyes were still glistening and its cracked lips still articulate. One thin rippling slit ran trailed along its flaking pastry skin. Four especially wide openings puckered at me; one revealed bone, two housed what must have been eyes, the other, the other... it rolled to face me. “Please come lay with me,” eyelids billowing, tears thrown like spittle at my feet, “My body is so lonely.” It's sickening imitation of a tongue moistened its teeth one by one as it moaned and moaned on. “Stay with me, my empty hunger, please, to fill me, fill me,” it drooled and garbled. I closed the door. As it clicked shut, the room fell silent. She looked exactly like me.

The key found a home once more, this time taped under the stair closest to the floor. It will be well out of sight, well out of mind. At once, I returned to my bedroom. I lay over the top of my linens in the balmy night air. Perfectly still - my body and the moonlight. The scent of the ditch lilies sailed in on the current of my breath. On it, little boats, little whispered messages, found passage into the blackest harbours of my mind. “Forget, forget, forget….”