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Who would I be if not myself? The landscape of my chest is riddled with scars. Stretched across muscles that have been scraped clean of breast tissue. They took a scalpel, my hand guiding the movements from unconsciousness, and severed my skin from my body. What remains is scar tissue. Peppered with imperfections, irregular and uneven, bumpy and beautiful. I don’t see the aftermath of destruction. I see a blooming forest.

The landscape of my mind is another story. The sun rises on the edge of consciousness, beginning my torment.

Mindscape, part 1

Parched, I lie in the desert. This desperate sponge swiftly sucks out whatever moisture was left in my tongue. My skin breaks, cracks, crumbles, bleeds to sate a thirst that can never be quenched. My eyes deflate. To blink is to scrape my coarse eyelids against my corneas like a metal chair dragged across linoleum tiling.

Breath evaporating into the sky, joining clouds formed of countless others that will water one garden. A single drop of wetness would save me, but I want more. Please let me drown in a lake or a river. Even a puddle will do.

But alas, it is dry. Dry. The wind screeches its horrid insults to cover me in endless sand.

You, listener, bury me in literature and pages and words that mean nothing and forget about me. Do it. Forget about me.

Leave me to die as I succumb to the wastes. The scorch from direct sunlight is replaced by the pulsing heartbeat of the dune. I sink beneath the sand and my lungs become the bottom of an hourglass. Time is up.

Wait. We were not meant to drown in dryness. Let’s try again.

Mindscape, part 2

I am a stone, sinking forever

the cold wetness through which I descend, although it




provides me little comfort

it chills me to the bone.


the coolness has breached my body past the point of comfort. numbness. surrounded by oxygen I cannot breathe, I regret my desperate wish to drown

sediments shiver, the body shaking, desperate for a deep, sustaining breath

light from the heavens is refracted to and beyond shapelessness

I do not see it, the fluid beauty around me,

for I forgot my glasses and rocks have no eyes

Mindscape, part 3

Your heart had once been mended, but it is ripped apart anew and left to crawl across the asphalt. Desperately searching for the other part of yourself, parched and sun-seared, you burst from beneath the dune and begin your trek across the dry, sandy expanse.

Your eyes open in your watery grave and suddenly having full lungs, you break through the surface tension Waterlogged and exhausted, you scramble ashore.

You meet yourself, breathing heavily. A warm or cold embrace brings you to balance. You will never fully heal; the journey has changed you. Your scars become the seed of poetry, watered with tears and raised with love


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