Winter breathes heavily at my nape.
Go away. You make me daydream about summer. Every night I sprawl near the heater with a cat rumbling tiger on my chest, waiting for an hour like a dryer-warmed red silk slip over skin. A tongue lies still and hot in my mouth; it is suddenly foreign to me, useless at most social gatherings where a conversation might meander from work to school to a recent heroin overdose.
She's dead? I saw her only a few months ago.
E-mails arrive. I sift through them, thinking, Who's next?
Sometimes I ignore my books: they turn my sense of humor into an unpalatable dish brittle and sour. Why do I insist on reading these books that make me angry and sad and scared? I dream of death and destruction, of villages I raze to the ground with a child's frustrated fury.
Often, these dreams write themselves down, anxious incantations that might undo the terrible vision.
Will writing save me?
Sometimes I want to stop writing. Unravel the dream, the dreadful story, the painfully threaded narrative. Erase the needle-tracks of constant pricking, memory. I want to forget, to become undone, to just hibernate, my dreams of nothing, never-ever, never-was, a silence perfect and inviolable.
Did language truly saved me, as I thought months ago? Or am I cursed, Caliban's child, guided to places I would not have otherwise entered?