Overwhelmed In Fingertips

by Charlotte E. Wilde

On Drearday I wake up partial and full of bywater, but today is not like every day.  I’ve been sucking feathers in my sleep again like some great slithering blacksnake, even though I’ve told myself time and again mornings are no place for a spine. My tongue is fluffy white, a terrible temptation to mental tar baby turpentine. Despite the crackle of my electric thoughts and comforter the cold air holds my head pinned like surgery until my jaw starts to unfurl. A moonflower, unhinged, unwired, it yawns itself aware until one single downy piece of fluff hovers above my head.

He lies oblivious, dreaming mechanical dreams, the whir and click of them audible above the heady silence of 6am city clang that slips through all my cracks. Tattoos pull fingers towards skin in ways that freckles don’t but snakes have none so I think alternatively of other possible uses for forked tongues. When I open my lips the crisp taste of the air deters the thought and I recoil; contact is as dangerous on Dreardays as any other.

Slithering movement that is not mine takes the initiative I left for dread. His shift and burrow like medusa’s eye holds me paralyzed, wavering steady for the span of an eternal sigh while limbs like tree moss drape and dangle. I am, at times, overwhelmed by the touch of him; having briefly felt the feelings leaking out through my skin into his fingertips— a cold feeling, like something being injected into my blood.

“There’s a difference between not having control over something and being out of control,” I whisper.

The feathers quivered their response and everyone was still.

“Whir-click,” he conceded, and I knew that he was right.

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