Past Life

(tw: death)

 

My body was 108 cm off the ground

before I came back here to tell you about it.

The fourth wall is down.

This is my monologue for

high school theater auditions, I’m

dressed like a bard

but my fly is open.

I am still not ashamed.

My mother rushes over to shush me, I

turn to the camera.

Not greedy for it, just

an honest thespian

who started in comedy.

No more arguments in the bomb shelter.

Not a metaphor for now, but for the

1950s.

I am aware of reality.

Dr. Manhattan.

I think a lot about the moments right before

you know you’re going to die.

You must accept it, right?

You’re caught in it, whether you chose it or not,

and I imagine it’s

the perfect moment, right?

Said without reservation

or socially vocalized contexts of my own depression,

or stigma, or cases, or audience, and no encouragement to be gleaned and pinned

like some false blame for stating my truth,

but it goes well either way:

you either accept it, or you’re about to leave that body, so

the pain will never happen again in

3, 2, 1…

I listen to too many wise men’s voices, televangelists in the 1980s swimming

in the property-value-raising but the gate you have to put up around it to keep it safe

for children, that is my mind,

with the brave men’s voices

and I don’t want to feel better deep down.

Not out of anger or spite, part of me can’t feel content

’cause we’ll lose it again,

I can’t put a metaphor here for my depression or you’ll think this is about you,

so let me just say it: I just don’t want to be depressed anymore.

I am scared to self-soothe out here in Neverneverland.

I worry I can’t do it all, so don’t start. I dread myself. I peeled my body off the walls.

I read so many more books when I wasn’t in love.

I can’t get my eyes to go back to youth, don’t get me my glasses. I just want a light sweater.

Where does the moon go when I travel back to Earth? Will I learn to like outerspace when I leave this body? Did the last star these cells belonged to together have feelings?

Close your notebooks. Under the desk.

Hands over your head, in a crouched position.

Just a drill.

Back to class.

Just a drill.

Just a drill.

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