Prism
Julia Faulkner

 

Fifty yards away and you can still hear
someone’s world seem to twist in their shaky hands.
I didn’t realize how it sounded until after
you called the therapist. There’s a clinical term,
it feels more like the signs across your chest
read WELCOME TO, WELCOME TO,
never WELCOME HOME, never WELCOME
HOME. You tell me you don’t understand.
Divide. Separate. Consume. I am to the top,
shaking full of light. Swallow. Moonrock skull,
fingers like coffee filters, tongue swimming
with Tylenol, clear. I go weeks just letting the phone
ring, burying the bottles like translucent
orange explosives. Rise. Wash clean.
Stomach acid full of hornets, the finite of the body
above the resolve of concrete. Every word
sounds like a death threat. Open. Close. I pen out
letters to my insides but can’t speak
the language that hisses and spits. Boil. Simmer.
Burn. From far enough away, no one
can see the tremors in your throat. You ask me
how this feels. I could show you,
but the mind is a prism. It hurts invisibly.
Iron. Align. Refract. You do not understand
why my eyes well up on certain sidewalks, why
my skin crawls at my own name. Control.
Perform. Conclude. You ask me how to see
my kind of sick, but I cannot show you a suffering
that always runs clear.

-

Volume Three, Winter Tangerine Review


Julia Falkner’s writing career peaked in her early childhood with small novellas about feline robots and secret bird societies. Now she attends high school in Colorado, writes her poetry in history class, and absorbs most of her power from cheap lipstick.