You must always take more than you give. Your manners are always weak. You must stop saving seconds and losing lives. I swim around in an atmosphere that is so heavy it makes me scream and cry. No one is the better in it. Life is no longer easy. It is the fourth heat wave. My head is broken, my thoughts are out of step with reason. My navigation is circular. I starve and get dreadfully nervous. I question my own body. I want to get rid of my body and my head. I want to float away. I want to make peace with all that is broken. I want to be left on a mountain top like a crystal and be devoured by hawks.

I imagine the phone rings. I imagine many things. I sink into the pit. I cover myself away. I saw lighting over the city. I saw the clouds in layers. I’ve forgotten how to be lost in  curiosity. People bring fear. People’s expectations bring horror. The moon rises over the Atlantic. The boardwalk is perpendicular. The slats lead to other places. It takes an immense effort to trace them.  It takes strength I do not have. I remember when I did not question effort or the stream that exits my head as thoughts. I try to see the horizon. I see fortresses from angles. I consult maps. I see waves in the distance. I see rocks and fear. I feel the breeze and it’s like a drug. It caresses my skin like a sound.

I finish books in diners and my hands smell like gasoline. The waitresses are so friendly. They take care of me automatically. They smile at the most subtle things. They make arrangements. They look me in my troubled eyes. They make things I do not want vanish. .I attempt to go to the beach but feel so disoriented I cannot go near the water.  I become paranoid that my phone knows I’ve been drinking and have driven. They would have to subpoena the evidence and geographic locations over time. I would lose.  I make slow five hour movies of plants to confirm they move and are alive.. I need to write my own will and testament. How does anyone acknowledge worth? How does anyone retain closeness? How do people NOT question love and kindness. You have to be abandoned in the wilderness to really understand. You have to be shot out of cannon and have people catch you before you know your true worth.

X. F. Pine