“Death By Bleaching”

Issue 36 by Lara Colrain

“Death By Bleaching”

They tell me that I’m not dying.

That my limbs aren’t burning.

That my face isn’t as ashen as I make it out to be.

But what do they know –

the false prophets with their loose lips, tailored suits, and painted-up lies?

They don’t see what I see.

Feel what I feel.

I hear things down here;

the morsels of muffled voices

floating

where fiery mammoth fingers stroke the waterline,

and I gaze up to see Her

glorious dappled light filtering into sapphire.

Yes,

I listen when you come in droves

and talk of “cycles” and “patterns” and “warming.”

While others cluster in the half of me that’s left,

clicking away with their masked flashes

at my fading façade

because I am not what I used to be,

and they want to capture me

before I am gone entirely.

Do you see those that still cling to me?

The ones who soon time will take by the suck of sea?

The ones who will leave me to starve?

I curse you.

All of you.

My mind is an eddy filled with the words

of yours

I’ve learned;

synonyms carried by the winds and tides:

Bananas. Barking mad. Barmy. Bonkers. Crackers. Crazy. Cuckoo. Daft. Delirious. Destructive. Foolhardy. Harebrained. Idiotic. Irrational. Loopy. Lost-your-marbles. Mental. Non compos mentis. Not right in the head. Not the full shilling. Nuts. Off your rocker. Off your trolley. Out of your tree. Raving Looney Tune. Raving mad. Reckless. Scatterbrained. Screwy. Senseless. Thoughtless. Unreasonable. Unstable. Unwise. Whacko...

And yet,

my forked heart still beats

as you

find your way through

your insanity.

Some of you grasp what others don’t –

if only the world

saw me

as intimately.

Bore witness to the loneliness.

The isolation.

What it’s like to be boiled alive.

What it’s like to know there’s a cure.

What’s it like to know you’ll never receive it.

I don’t want to die;

I want to live.

I want my bones to regenerate flesh.

My colors re-bloom.

The barren, bleached veins of me to swarm

with life,

again.

But summer is coming,

and you tell me the odds are not in my favor.

That more death this way comes.

So, find the order in your chaos.

For if you do not, how will you save me?

About the Author

Lara Colrain

Lara is an editor and writer based in Hobart, Tasmania. Her work has featured in The Write Launch and Our Verse Magazine. She holds two Bachelor degrees (Arts and Archaeology) and has certificates in Advanced Fiction Writing. Lara is currently working on her first novel.