psychic distance draws a line down the middle of me
i scrub my skin with salt
until the grains’ raised red lines begin to blur
into the red plaid-patterned tablecloth of childhood home.
this skin feels more familiar somehow;
i look more like myself like this
(rubbed raw and bleeding)
so lay me down, i guess.
cut to my sweat-stick back cementing itself to the hardwood
such that i am centered on the dining room floor.
i feel steely forks and spoons against my hot skin
and the ceramic base of your plate soothes my throbbing skull.
eat off or from me. put this body to good use
(as i certainly have not)
now sit me back up
and perhaps at last you will understand the weight of body
when brain is little more than an amalgamation of rocks.
my head is heavy and stagnant
and the pressed powder of prescription pill barely masquerades the cold
cobble glistening of gray matter; in the right lighting,
i look no different than before
(still gray-brained and mostly breathing)
let me sit steady in this
pattern of refusal; i store everything behind my eyes until i am absolutely
and unbearably full and then release all at once. after a long and unforgiving
six months of ignorance, i cry three times in one day.
Natalie Hayes is a double major in English (Creative Writing) and Film Studies at SUNY Geneseo. She is extremely passionate about all facets of the arts, including but not limited to film, writing, and the visual arts. She is most interested in where these forms overlap, and in engaging in them collaboratively.