Burning Letters, An Effigy to Obscurification

by Charlotte E. Wilde

“[I]f you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”   Friedrich Neitzsche

Some bodies seethe tension, radiating worry as distorting heat waves from summer pavement in the sun.  And I, I am scalding like a thought, flickering orangey-red in the corners, the translucent places of eyes or elbows reveal the molten heat beneath. But skin is merely a container for my esoteric contents, nothing more–so when sleep jerks away as a hand from the stove I know I must burn to the touch.

At night I think I am some unnatural furnace or natural disaster where the ash of so many incinerated thoughts hide tiny glowing embers, ready to re-light past fires for warming future fears. Clicking hollow, dull like a November radiator, I come roaring to life in the dark–- fingers trembling with combustion to slowly melt down bone and being into a voiceless liquid mass. Sleepless, simmer.

And so I eat nothing, only smoldering macabre thoughts and incandescent fears, but flames lick my sticky fingers clean so I travel fast. The greatest consumer consumed, I fly sure-footed and nimble-fingered over every well-known memory or moment, mind glowing in the shadows of another 3AM.

Here, finally, where I can neither speak nor think because I am devouring myself. And so it must be that if you are what you eat

I am, in fact, infinite.