after Surya Botofasina
The sky eats the sea for breakfast,
the sea, the sky for dinner. The wide
right eye of a storm out of family lore.
Gears forfeiting baby teeth among
flowerbed hailstones. Bolts, their
unspooled threads. Fear is how
the past keeps in touch. A message
of cerebral chemicals like a postcard
from the Oregon Dunes, adorning
my desk decades later. It doesn’t
feel so long ago, my palms
salt-stained daily by seashells
and tide stones. My ears stuffed
with teddy bear guts when I didn’t
want to listen. Silence, the sound
of dancing blood. We weren’t us
then. Now? Three colors of
carpet to cover the living room.
The dish drying rack, glued to
the counter, drains in the wrong
direction. Beside the bathroom mirrors,
I drape red rust-scented curtains.
Like the tack of a clotting cut.
Instincts treading in the sharpest
of places. Conditions of aftermath,
tenuous. I want you to close your
fist around me the same way
you forget: unaware of what’s
happening inside your own body.
I’ll count backwards from the static
end of the tape and sway out of
time with the floorboards’ rattling.
Alix Perry is a trans writer from the Pacific Northwest. Their work has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and can be found in Kissing Dynamite, The B’K, beestung, and elsewhere. Their chapbook, Tomatoes Beverly, is due out in May 2024. More at alixperrywriting.com.