Illustration by Joshua Jackson
Illustration by Khari Jackson

Incongruous is the word on the tip of my tongue.

Haphazardly placed: an after-thought.

A hasty assemblage, pieced together blindly by trembling hands, hungry or desperate, rashly constructed to compensate for the loss of something more symmetrical.

A mismatched puzzle in which the pieces don’t fit; placed together this spine and this skull and this skin and this bone but the hole in the skull was too small so the brain seeped out, desperate for space.

A twisted spine

Sometimes I picture it like a tree, curved gnarled bending in the wind remaining alive but not quite erect, rivulets running down as if rivers carved a winding path along its length some design I’ve frequently thought might be enough to convince me that the world can be no accident a language too sublime to simply be

The fluid is a river racing down to my cervical to my thoracic to my lumbar spine my brain reaching as far as it can go traveling down my body coursing, my brain dissolves and swims alongside, making its way to the places in me from which it has been banned.

All parts of me want to be next to each other again, want to return to a time when I was not so much separate not so much bones and skin and muscle and brains and blood and veins but instead all floating melding one mass of me the visual equivalent of cacophony, denying some false structure in order to just be free.

My spine bends in hope of meeting itself again where it starts, my brain melts in order to slide down me like honey viscous drips from a spoon sliding rebelliously descending into anarchy—who knew a brain could be solid and fluid. The thought of chaos is tempting me.

They say it isn’t fatal but whatever happens it’s nice to imagine that it’s not cruel or arbitrary, rather this is my body intentionally and consciously refusing to be what they thought I should be. I can be bent and I can become honey dripping from here to hidden infinity, I can fold into an ancient tree meeting myself underneath the soil behind the wind straightness is overrated. Physical Pain is temporary /or/ Physical pain is subjective /or/ Physical pain is irrelevant and maybe it’s surprising how much a body can bear when it promises that after the pain is dissolve after the pain is ecstasy.

A twisted spine, a mangled tree.

But after the pain is dissolve!

After the pain is ecstasy!

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