It’s cold. My right hand more than my left is full of chill, and the soles of my feet. A fluffy robe is no match for winter’s aim. No matter how much I try to get warm, it stays the same. I’m running out of time, running out of air, of breath and wind and socks and pleated skirts that fall over your thighs just so.
Milk feeds me, with a plate of warmed cookies for eating. My worn knuckles bend and crack slightly as I grip the glass, trying to hold on. That’s all I’ve been doing—trying to hold on. Where they can’t get me. Here, I thought I was safe. Here, away from blues and purples and those uncomfortable chairs that make your back ache.
I’m getting this out. Out, out damned spot and stripe and zig-zag, zig-zags on zebras who live behind their own set of bars and hooves clawing into the dirt. Their skin must be so soft, covered in coarse hairs. So are we, but we shave ours off. That’s why we’re naked.
Blood is the color of my fragrant sun, shining heavy and heated above burning the skin of my face, even in the coldest days. I’m not waiting to fall apart, not holding my breath, cheeks puffing bigger and bigger, not for them, not ever. I breathe. I live. For me.
For a future that doesn’t have them written in it.
That’s where I am going.