Like dying, yes.

Sometimes, when I’m being tired, I like to raise a fingernail to light. Watch colors crumble from white. Rain. Like glitter. A flash, a reckoning, then nothing. So pretty.

Go on, go, tell yourself this doesn’t exist. Tell yourself it’s an illusion, light moving too fast and too slow and never enough.

Go on, move, and see. Rain leaves crumbles of glitter and you’ll miss it if you blink.

Blink fast enough, hard enough, you’ll lose it, to this terrible, vast featureless landscape beneath.

And maybe, in this place, where nothing is right and nothing is wrong, and nothing is bright and nothing dark, maybe in this place, you’ll be able to see yourself as a life and not a reflection of one.

A life and not a reflection of one.

Was it always in us to look only for the impossible?

Was it always in us to ask only for the ungivable?

Thirty-six minutes since starshine and in the muted dark, I think about how so much of what we do and who we are is decided for us. How little choice we have. Over the things we want and the things we make and the things that are in us forever and the next day.

Over the snakes in our head, the ones on our feet; headless and shackles.

My mind is caught in its own fall. Now I think about how the adjective and the noun.

How they are replaceable. But only when plural. How even language will make an exception when they are many. Pressed into the same syntax. Headless and Shackles. Thin lines. Thin lines between the word and its features. How intertwined they are, yet separate, like a death to dying.

There is no death without the dying, of course. I know this.

 There is no death without the dying, and yet there can be no comparison between a corpse and its body.

But this is wrong too. The word corpse, altered from the word corse, originally used to denote the living body, now the dead.

Is it time I am missing here?

Is that it?

Sometimes, when I’m being faded, I like to believe that a nothingness would be its own kind of paradise.

Because what is heaven if not a place with no memory to hold itself? And what is a god if not a heart with no mind to arm itself?

Or is it the other way around? A mind with no heart to arm itself?

I hardly know anymore.

This is all I know: it was never the body I craved, with all its hungered flaw and bone. Not the body, sealed like a kiss, gift-wrapped and shackled in salt and iron.

No, I craved the mind, in pure form.

And it was this god I was offered. And it was this madness that I took.

There, I thought, maybe I will finally learn how to be cut without being breached.

And there, at last, maybe I will be a thing held and hummed and not forgotten, because I hear that you can’t be taken away against your will if you give yourself first.

Do you hear me? I’ll give myself. First. Already.

I swear it. I swear it, I do. I do. To the old gods and the new, to this word and the next and what comes after, to the stars that were only ever the tears of an unseen sun, to whatever else is watching when you don’t, I swear it.

To find this thing and lose myself to it, or lose myself in the searching. Which, I suppose, is the same thing.

For whatever it’s worth, for whatever I’m worth, I’ll give myself to what lies and the truth beyond, to something big and beautiful and colorless and shadowless, like dying, yes, and they were wrong, when they told us to subtract when you add a negative number, they were all wrong.

A loss added will always be something more. A loss will always make more of you.

As a rule, a loss makes room for you. As a rule, breathe into this space when you’d rather die. As a rule, do not think about being a loss instead of being lost. When you’d rather die.

Sometimes, when I’m naive, I like to think that’s why we cut ourselves to the bone. So we could be more.

It would be like a dying, yes.

I think I would.


Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash


To read these pieces in your inbox each week, enter your email in the comments below or let me know at

#writing #mentalillness #death #shortstory #writer #flashfiction #blogging #prose #flashfiction #dying #blog #poetry #poet #story

Recent Posts

See All


  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • goodreads-512
  • images_edited_edited