My retainer tastes like dog. It’s the closest I’ve come to comfort in a while. The familial touch of someone you love is a relic in my head. A memory in amber. I put a pillow in between two bodies when they exist in one place, so far gone from a point of return that I don’t know which way is out. I’m not sure the last time I stayed when someone touched me.

The first time I kissed for emotion and not technique.

I’ve been fumbling so long through a maze of roses all that’s left are thorns. The trail leading to me covered in blood. I bandage and re-bandage my hands but they cut open every time. They crack when I steal sheets. They cry when I leave at dawn, my body flooded in dark. I thought the sun was supposed to come out eventually but seasons past and you stayed for winter.

The gardener forgot to snip the weeds.

Hedges go untrimmed and I’m surrounded by insects. Caterpillars stick for seasons but worms entangle ankles, and I am stuck in guts. I wonder where my friends have hidden cocoons to become butterflies. Something tells me they’re at the middle of the maze. Practice patience, you’ll spread your wings again. I tried that, being a butterfly. Owned all the colors in the world. Until they said I couldn’t.

I smelled too much like Petco.

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