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i am walking through the carcass of a whale there are great bones around me, massive ribcage— they are towers, or bars, or the walls of a home. is there marrow within them? or poetry? i thought the whale would fade after beaching but it did not— when it did i thought it would wither. perhaps it did, but the carcass remains; i am walking through the carcass of a whale and wondering how long before the wind carves the bones to dust. farewell to the orange sky. farewell to the cicada call in the summer evenings. food is still good past its expiration date and sometimes daylight clings beyond the setting sun but when the midnight comes, will it bring waves to cleanse the beach? when i return come morning, will the whale be gone? i whisper poetry to the inside of a whale carcass and wonder how long i have left. ~~~~~~~ ((AN: there's a weird, half-life atmosphere to the slam now. it's like all the rats abandoned ship but the ship hasn't sunk yet. the slam was supposed to go down but it's still here and it's like walking through purgatory. it's like it's here but it isn't and i'm hurting to see how long it will last.))
hey starfield, i havent written you a letter since this summer, and i miss being able to. i mean, does your dorm even have an address? things feel difficult on my end. i dont know if it's just me (and i mean, i hope it is?) but i swore that i knew what i was getting into, you know? and i know that ive got a lot of things i dont talk about that i feel like i should, but it's hard to remember the things that might matter in the first place. i dont know how to classify what matters, or if things that happened in the past to me are even relevant enough. i feel so dirty, i think. in spanish theres a saying: como uña y mugre. it's supposed to translate to the english idiom of like two peas in a pod and maybe in other languages dirt isnt such a big deal, enough so that it's celebrated, maybe. i dont know. sometimes i feel like my dirt is stuck under my fingernails and in the roots of my hair, so obvious like ive been ruined in some way. like nobody would want to touch me anymore, not after that. i dont even know if what happened wasnt my fault. you know, when my smartphone got rifled through and subsequently taken away? and i had to beg to stay in college? i told my parents what happened after i had another panic attack and they determined i couldnt make healthy friendships on my own, and that the way i acted had caused what happened. i had screenshots of the way they talked to me, two of them. only two. my mother took one look at me and said the way i had been defending myself was inflammatory and that i kept the screenshots out of self hate. she doesnt believe things like i kept them to remember that not everything is my fault. i dont know how to think that someone could possibly be on my side. ive got myself in a cycle of making friends online and then ghosting, not because theyre bad people but because i share the good slice of myself before running out of pie im willing to give. today someone told me he was allowed to fetishize his own demographic. i didnt know how to tell him it was my demographic too. sincerely crow
You first meet her in the hallowed halls of your father’s palace. In the depths of the Underworld she glows like a star in a vast void. She is too young to be a queen, but your father assures you that she is. His queen, but not really, he says. Somehow, you understand what he means. Her laughter sounds like the sun rising, and in the chill of the halls her breath makes fog clouds. “You should see her when spring comes,” your father says, his cold hand upon your shoulder. He smiles at you, and you are reminded that the heart of winter is the crackling of a fire in the hearth and the company of loved ones. They are a striking pair, the king and queen of this place. She drags you into her garden and teaches you how to make flower crowns and complains about her mother. The lilies you weave for her crown are a purple-red, her favorite color. She gives you small white lilies, calls you “valley flower.” One supper, while your father is away, having some urgent meeting, she reaches behind your ears and brings out two coins of glittering gold. She lays them in your palms and they are warm like her hands. “Shh,” she whispers, “don’t tell the ferryman.” You never think to ask if she’s one of them. She can’t be, not with the tiny sun inside her eyes. She’s friends with them, as much as one can be, and side by side you’d never entertain the thought of her being anything like they are. She asks you, when the time has almost come, if you’d like to leave with her. You glance at your father and he smiles, says something like, “go on and steal my queen, why don’t you?” But you know this is his blessing. She takes you by the hand, and you feel the sun on the earth above, the snow bowing, making way, the early buds peaking above the thawed soil. You land in the dirt and she pulls from the ground a perfect pomegranate. “Stay for the spring?” she asks. You find that spring is cruel. She is as merciless aboveground as she is merciful below. She calls back the frosts once, twice, thrice, and the new spring shoots quiver in unexpected chills. In the Underworld you were your father’s daughter, his last and only priestess, but here you are nothing but a subject of her capricious will. Her sunlight goes from blinding to a dim oil-lamp in moments. She flickers in the rain she sends cascading onto your head. Some days you lie out on the grass and she reads your palms, telling you the breaks in your lifeline are your visits to your father’s realm. You don’t believe her; your father told you that in his kingdom you were never really dead. She laughs, and tells you he was sparing your mortal sensibilities. She lies, she lies, she lies. In summer she drifts away, as another claims the skies and scorches the earth with her fiery roar. Sometimes she visits and she paints your nails and mutters curses at the sun, and complains about her mother. (You heard her curse the earth once and for a week she was pale and almost, almost human. She never uttered unkind words toward the soil again.) She takes you to the Wild Hunt of her cousin, and only turns you into a deer twice. Her cousin smiles, rolls her eyes. It is so easy with them, to see the family resemblance. Her cousin asks you if you are like them. You shake your head, and the Mistress of the Wild Hunt looks quizzically at you, and then at her. She grins at her cousin, and the Hunt continues. She is gone for most of the season, and you miss her, try to find her sunlight eyes in passing strangers on the sidewalks, try to taste the light she brought the world in every fruit. She sends you pomegranates, sometimes. It’s a little joke, between you and she and your father. Your nails match the color of the fruit and you laugh because she knew, she always would. She returns as the leaves change, and she dresses accordingly. On Samhain, she opens a portal and your father waves. He tells you to take good care of her. You grin and nod. Before the winter comes she takes you to a faerie ball, and you remember the benefits of having someone like her in company. She is so inhuman, with her deft steps and effortlessness in all that she does. She stretches a hand to a tree and the leaves turn, and she looks green for a moment, and smiles sharply. This is where the green goes, you think. This is why the light dies. She braids leaves into your hair and presents you to astral royalty as the heir of the Underworld. They are impressed but unimpressed with the mortality of your body. She saves you from death, again, again. The ground cools where she sits. As in spring when she radiated warmth she now takes it back, bleeds the earth dry of sun-energy and breathes out the last warm wind of autumn. She is no more monster than the seasons but to see her glowing while the trees are hibernating is unnerving. She is both the mother and the executioner of sunlight. The earth turns, and cools, and she will be the first one to breathe snow upon us all. Days before your father’s chariot arrives to reenact her mother’s deepest tragedy, she has covered the earth in cold. She is still so, so warm. She is glowing, full of sunlight in her bones. She cuts her hand on a branch and where the ambrosia drops a sprout arises. She kills it, drawing the warmth back into herself. You find the autumn may be crueler than the spring. Your father is the one to call you back for winter. She must go, you are invited. She gives you little choice, still with her hand clasped in yours. A cold hand falls upon your shoulder and dark horses take you below the earth to the first home of every living thing and the last place they shall ever go.
Her phone starts blipping, you look over to see the neon-ass blue of Skype, and you’re about to snark at her about either her mode of communication or about why you have to take a call in a fucking alley of all places you know you HAVE A HOUSE, you haven’t decided which. Shushing you as you’re about to open your mouth, Charlie starts going on about holy shit this is IT ok be cool I’m going to answer, and you roll your eyes. You watch her fix her hair and miss the call in the meanwhile. You tease her, ain't you gonna call back? and she tells you to literally, like, die.