r e t u r n

a sharp hiss, something pops behind my eyes flashbang searing white heat smoke

where

 

 

 

 

 

am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the chamber. I’m in the chamber.

 

“Jesus FUCK!”

 

 

 

I’ve got about sixty seconds before this thing goes earthquake mode and I come out

 

 

 

somewhere.

 

 

My only hope is that I’m somewhere, anywhere, that you are, too.

Amara.

I’m almost there, baby.

 

My hands go to work on the straps, adjusting the loops for my arms, then I’m sitting. My feet are locked in. Left wrist, secure. Slide in the right, lean.

L E A N

 

Fuck. This was easier at home.

 

So my right wrist isn’t completely secured. What’s the worst that could happen?

 

My eyes are flooded with stop-motion frames: man being ripped apart. Man in pieces. Walls covered in blood. Chunks. of. Parts. of. Hair. of. Teeth. Of. Gnashing.

of me.

Fuck. I try again. My teeth catch the strap and I jerk my neck back hard.

 

Success!

 

The chamber is silent. As in, completely.

No noise. Anechoic.

 

 

 

 

n    o    t    h    i    n     g

 

 

 

Sweat rolling down my forehead is what I’m feeling. My heart racing. Bump-bump-bump in my ears.

 

Baby. Please. If you can hear me, hold on.

 

If this is the last time I die, will I know?

If it was permanent, would I remember

 

you?

life?

anything?

 

 

My jaw clicks. Teeth grinding. Any second.

Any second I’m going to fffffffffff e e l

 

 

 

I feel

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

feel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

s
t

r

 

 

e

 

 

 

t

 

 
c

 

 

 

 

h

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h

h    h
h

h h h h h h h h h

s s s s s s s s s s s s s

A sound on the line. Not a voice.
Just a hiss.

 

Static.

 

 

“Amara?”

 

 

s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s

 

“Baby, if you can hear me, please. Say something.”

 

ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

S

sssssssssSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

S

ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssSssssssss

sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

S

 

I can’t do this. Can’t speak. I only curl in the orange glow of morning, face in my hands. The static sings through the speaker on the pillow by my head. Your smile on the screen. Connected.

02:12

    13

    14

     15

   16

  17

 18

 19

 20

 21

  22

  23

  24

25

26

 27
8
9
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

    0

 

 

    0

 

 

 

 

    0

 

I listen. I need to hear. Hear you there. Hear something, in that river of static. Some rumor, some whisper. Something. Anything.

But you say nothing.

My voice is broken. My eyes write verses for you instead, fat wet strokes across my cheeks, dark ellipses stain my pillow.

 

. . .

 

without end

 

poetry I could never fathom,
every beauty I ever failed to utter
right there on the damp fabric,
empty room filling
with static
with poetry
with sunlight anguish static
static doubt anger
static loathing
despair
static
filling
with rage,
with hurt,
with aloneness, with
static
with

 

with regret with

 

MOSHED-2018-5-5-5-0-4

 

 

with

 

Untitled-1

 

 

 

When I wake again, the river is quiet. Sit up. Grab the phone. Touch the screen. Dead.

 

Was I dreaming? How far back?

 

Did I dream you? Could I

have dreamed
the most
p  e  r  f  e  c  t
thing

 

No. I need to go back. Keep looking. You’re out there. Wandering. Searching.

I need the chamber. I need to talk to Soliman. Convince him to let me back in. Take the goddamn psych test. Whatever it takes.

 

 

 

 

The sun is setting. Outside my window, cicadas begin their newest symphony.

 

“See?” You said, ear against the glass. 
“It’s beautiful. They play to no one, and anyone who will listen.”

 

 

 

Amara.
I’m listening now
for all its worth