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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