FOR DEAD THINGS COME ALIVE

Written by Paula Reitan
By Paula Reitan

fly blown and awesome, something horrid, she puts her hands on my cheek and screams, hot and death ridden, / it’s not like she meant to / she didn’t mean it; her eyes are wild, rolling, threadworm curling in her pupil / she’s dead / it’s easy / she’s dead. / how can her mouth still look so familiar / decay, the crushed velvet, the dark air pressing in from all sides, her pure paradox pushing back /  it feels, it feels like there’s something, moving, under her skin / burrow / like gliding a hunting knife between dermis epidermis fat muscle nerve / her nerves don’t feel anymore, right? does this insect hurt? its tunneling / pine beetle, resin / gold and permanent / like amber, trapped / the worm in her eye twists into a neat little knot / how does it know / there isn’t screaming anymore just, just her breath. her   breath? / it isn’t warm and i don’t know if it ever was? // rot, rotting, rotted. dead and gone. past tenses snag on the tongue / unnatural incandescent, insectoid crawling / gone and goner

About the Author

Paula Reitan is a lifelong artist/scientist from Castlegar, BC. They focus mainly on traditional and digital illustration to go with their original fiction pieces.

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