The body stretches, chest broken and lungs collapsed, I pause in these moments between living and dying. When my dreams swing doors wide and corrupt my mind with shadow divisions. I sat too long on the lap of death and now I call the blood back to my skin, kiss my own cold lips. My thoughts hover on my green eyes, the corners red and hot from leaking luminosity. I can create the visions, the skimming of sensation and falling fragrance of sweat. I hole up, locking the door and pretending the world no longer exists except for the microscopic worlds in numbers, my science explorations. It’s a distraction, from destruction and the warped creature that hides behind every cruel indecision. We mirror each other, mouthing words to morph meaning and infuse memories into our very spirit. Giving gifts of raw even if it hurts because we aren’t quite ready to begin, too young to sacrifice our desire for the rare courtesy of transparency. Sharing stories and baring scars, flipping our skirts and shedding shame so that we can see the similarity, that we are never alone only to find that we are running parallel, woven with the same thread. I sense the potential energy and burrow into the nape of my neck, past the flesh and into the knots that hold my shoulders in a tight fist. It is easier to shut our eyes and hide inside than break open, sprawled and vulnerable, acceptance means loving the parts that never were easy to forgive. It means that I am enough and can stop the mutilation of my being, that fear is love in denial. So I soak in the flecks of nebula, blinking my pinhole cosmos and trying to grasp the meaning of it all, as if I don’t already know. Waiting for this truth to set in, that I am safe to live in.