Out of Rock Now by Susan Isla Tepper

They built darkness next to rock. This way no one would be disappointed. All day I see blue shadows across my floorboards. I see the blue of my hands. It shames me.

In your chair by the fire your laugh rings out, dear Petrov. While my mind is counting how many fires left. I wish perfection for your comfort. You proclaim it is simply veins bluing under flesh. I have travelled far under. Assumed I had reached insanity. No pit could be that dark and wide. I swallow my skin then give you the necessary agreement.

If only to end this. They are just cold my hands. Yes, you say. As cloven hooves crash across the roof. As dust clumps in corners black and fibred.


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