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.  I am scalding like a thought and flickering orangey-red in the corners of eyes or elbows where translucent places reveal molten heat beneath. My 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. 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.

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 dark. Here, 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.