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I Want to Say I Love You

Destiny Perkins

Mistaking the soft patter of rain for the gnawing of rodent teeth. Waking up in a fever as the
shadow of my eyelashes parted look like large beetles in the dark. A caesura from sleep, marked
by the clenching beat of my heart. In a haze, I am tortured. Every day spent in fear is a day
wasted. I am wasting my life away. At night I fall into the same habit—swallowing the
crumbling plaster of a world falling apart

A dream retiring grimly.

I grip my skin in inspection and soothe. Wondering how far my body will expand to close the
empty space in this bed, in my room. My world is falling apart, and I am undeniably alone,
barring the phantom thrashing of opalescent beetle wings, and all I want to do is say,

 

I love you.

Not to a decided face or a specific person. The intuition that a confession of love might soothe
my ache or at least serve as an effigy if my racing heart finally breaks. I want to say it because it
feels time. In another dimension, I’m plaited into someone’s heart. Someone who is saying it and
meaning it and feeling it. Consuming Me. In these moments, when black-eyed rat kings writhe in
my stomach,

I love you,

must be all the reassurance needed to expel the darkness from my vision and allow divination. A
life unloved is a life wasted and I am wasting my life away. I am ready to become prey to
impatient rodent teeth and scarabs who marvel at my fragile wrapping of stretched flesh. I am
imagining someone, maybe you, lover, puncturing the swelling smell of decay and parting a
carpet of crisp molted skin to resurrect me when you say,


I love you.

I say it to myself. I wait for it to blanket me. I listen to rats chew on my diary.

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