in nightmares you cough
so hard and so loud and
your whole body heaves
and your ribs all splinter
and fluid fills your lungs
and phlegm pours out of
your mouth until you just
choke on yourself. some-
times you shake so very
violently that your atoms
all fly apart and suddenly
you’re nothing. sometimes
you liquify into the couch.
sometimes you rot from
the inside all the way out.
there is always either no-
thing i can do to help you,
or so much i could do but
you won’t fucking let me.
we crawl towards each other, our bodies
lurching and creaking, our mouths open
and gasping, silently screaming for the
contact. our broken bodies are dragged
towards each other excruciatingly slowly
by our disgusting need, our pathetically
human wanting. we will never touch. not
even bruised, cracked, bloody fingers
grasping and clasping. we stare at each
other from across this fucking burning
room with all of its slammed and locked
doors and we cry tears that neither can
see because by this point they’ve gone
dry; we could never admit anything so
it makes no sense to start now. we
just crawl around, avoiding eye contact
but wanting to touch and smell each others’
hair and fuck and eat expensive cheese
and grow old and we will grow old, we
are growing old, in this burning room.
we will crawl towards each other forever
or until the world and all its suffering
finally ends, whichever comes first.
SOME THINGS, THE WATER CAN’T WASH CLEAN
i watch the same stale glimpses
of who we could have been together
dance in the flame of the candle i bought
to get over you; i am to light it and
think about letting you go and then
you will be gone. this is powerful magic.
this is helichrysum, frankincense,
neroli, and cedar. this is four pieces of
pink kunzite sinking into the molten wax.
this is burning on the sink as i scald
myself in the shower, wash you off of
me, wash you down the drain and away.
it will burn and you will be gone and
all i will have left are faint scars i can’t
even remember hurting to achieve, and i’m
slipping through your fingers like a nosebleed.
Dani Tauber is the author of just like soft fruit (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) and it’s always summer in hell (APEP), as well as the editor in chief of Vulnerary Magazine. She's had work appear in Resurrection Magazine, Pink Plastic Press, RLY SRS LIT, Screenshot Lit, and The Aquarian - among others. Instagram: jewel.wing / vulneraries | Twitter: DRAINPIPEEE / vulneraries | www.vulnerarymag.com
Uncovered logs from the distant past and the future beyond.