Vices Episode 1: Wrath

I know what I do when I want to love you.

I know how to send you sweet nothings and paint pictures of imagination and wordy impressions of physical joy. I know how to look at the numbers remaining with a fretful wistfulness. I know how to weave this into the tapestry of our fate together.

What do I do with the anger? What do I do when I want to scream in your face? What do I do when rage boils my blood so that when it comes out through hastily made incisions in my skin, I swear it’s an abnormal hue? What do I do when the beast knocks against my chest and begs out, but I’m the only living target, I’m the only one it can sink its claws into?

My mouth doesnt work so my fingers don’t either. Spirits and demons clench my jaw and make me heavy. I see everything I hate, and it doesn’t take long for me to grab myself the way they grab me.

The genetic freak accident of my appearance outweighs anything either of my parents brought into the world. I move through a thick crowd until I reach a circle of beasts, like me. They look up slowly from half devoured meals and heavy glass weapons. I surrender without being asked. I pledge loyalty, I apologize for my absence. I show them a ring that means nothing to them, as means of an excuse.

What we don’t need, they explain, is another pretty face. They hand me a blade that trembles when I accept it. One slow, small, solid line. My rage runs into my mouth and they accept this as good enough.

But I know that they’re lying. Everybody loves a pretty face. They’ll smear my rage into pillows as I grit my teeth when their sweat meets the wound.

I am always a half moment away from screaming. I live, suspended, on the tipping point of what will be too much. Their dirty thumbs in my mouth taste like salvation. I don’t know if I should tell their parents that they gave birth to some christ/antichrist hybrid with a tongue that is cold on my skin, cold in my mouth, warm in my mind.

They want nothing more than for me to scream, and when I don’t, they leave bruises that only I will notice, late at night when I’m dreaming of a woman that I’m not sure exists.

I am, without any doubt, the battered femininity of Venus herself.

I wear wife beaters to meet them. The irony.

You don’t have any interest in what they want, or what they see. You don’t blame me when I come back. Your one request sends the beast back into its resting space, locked in with shame that burns my face in a way physical pain cannot.

You ask for patience.

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A Virtue

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