I've come face to face with it again.
I have this routine memorized.
I don't think you understand.
The scratches and bites keep it satisfied.
"No- not satisfied," you explain. "They keep it nourished."
You tell me to stand up straight, let our eyes meet.
Will I notice the skin color, stained with a shade of loss?
You tell me that it will smell my fear.
I imagine it will feel me quivering.
I imagine it will notice my bottom lip plumped and pouting; my eyes filling with tears- an ocean blue to match the grief.
You tell me to reach my hand out, run it over the sticky, flaky skin.
It will crumble on my fingertips, dry from the neglect.
You tell me to test the sharpness of the claws with my gentle hands.
Won't it scar my creamy, fair skin?
You tell me to lean in, to seek intimacy with it.
I can feel the ragged breath, vibrating the entire body.
You tell me to breathe in, and invite the smell of rotting hopes to fill my lungs.
You tell me to bring my lips right up to the ear, allowing them to graze the opening.
You tell me that I know what to say.
You tell me to speak.
My voice is small and thin.