One knock for deafening silence so loud fictitious voices pulse in my ears.
Two and a half for the uncertainty of madness.
Three for sinking safety of temporary life.
Four point four for certain betrayal, et tu, Judas Iscariot?
The air smells like unadulterated formaldehyde,
The kind they use to embalm the breathless.
My breathing is shallow, too shallow.
The brain in the jar whispers in muffled voices,
Tells me stories of the undreamt, a midsummer night’s dream.
The landlord’s mistress strangled herself with her stockings
But it was the butler who actually loved her.
I can taste sugar on my tongue, cherry coated resentment.
Tell me another one.
I once had a dream where a goat ate the moon.
He said it was made of cheese and gave me a piece to try
But all I could taste was funeral ashes.
My guardian angel (why did I need to be guarded?)
Tore his kidney out of his body and placed it in my hand
To pay for art school and a speculative future.
I wish someone had told me the rest of my life would revolve around money, he says.
It’s a weary chase.
Listen. Listen, good ol’ hope is the most dangerous drug.
And I understood why Icarus flew too close to the sun.
My mother said she’d pray for me but I forgot that she doesn’t know how to read.
I hear a knock on the door.
One, two, three, four, five. What does that mean?
I’m in a prison cell of my own making.
I try the handle but it comes out in my hand.
I think I’m a little stuck.