my brain said “AHHHH” and i said nothing

By Nadia Patterson

i learned at a young age how to stop breathing
until my face is red — how to gasp for words
and never grab any
i think my tongue is better held hostage
at the back of my throat
dry with isolation, choking hazard
all the warning signs buried in the depths
i lose hope of saying words, my teeth / crack
from withholding , churning
turning bones into butter and butter into blood
and you said: this. is. love.
and i said —

i’ve been checking out so long
i forgot, and transcended i don’t know if i exist
or if i’m a product of….mishap
i might be an extra terrestrial
sent here to collect blood butter and bad things
\ and breathless moments
not the good ones, like, the ones that make you choke
i might be a human on an earth
with no one left to trust except…….the soles of my shoes
and the knife

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