Again, I fell asleep swallowing a series of images,
swallowing a multicolored handful of “how to be normal” and
“how to forget,” and in the venomous silence I try to get over it, 
I try not to rewind the cassette lodged in my cracked skull
behind these shut eyes, crushed and distorted, but the motion
is automatic. These photographs develop better in darkness,
the dark bloating with silhouettes, uncontrollably imagining 
their illuminated hands spidering up my bedroom walls. 
I am stuck in the future. I try to rewrite how the story unfolds,
but I never do it fast enough, never find a satisfactory ending.
The problem is that I cannot any longer suspend my disbelief. 
The problem is that I’m slowly starting to think I’m a prophet.
So I knock myself out with lavender and hot pink Benadryl, 
I let the comforter wrap around my throat, and I do not bother
checking if I can still breathe with my face smashed under a pillow.

Again, I wake from a dream of it. In the dream I felt no fear
but in the morning the light stings my raw skin painted with
the ghosts of stranger’s hands crushing in. And this is how I learn
I can only muzzle my fear for so long, cupping handfuls of water
to throw at a forest fire. I am ablaze inside the locked house
of my mind, the windows will not open, see me banging the glass,
bright in daylight. I am stuck in the past. I am stuck in a half-hearted hell.
I get out of bed, I unfurl my veined fists like two heavy pink flowers, 
make myself non-threatening. There is no one to blame anymore,
no one to blame but myself. I stand with a blank expression
in the living room, where no one can touch me, where no one 
can see me burning still, where no one can see that the photographs
pinned to the inside of my head are twisted still-lifes of myself, my body 
in chalk outlines. This is what I’ve done, this is what I live with,
this is my burden now, and the end that I cannot seem to write