All the way across the room, the mirror is calling me a liar. “You’re no human. You’re already gone.” From beneath the guise of a dimmed nightlight the hollows of my remaining humanity gawk at me. The overcoat of dark draping the exoskeleton clinging to the counter is intentional. A mostly severed protection mechanism leaves me exposed to this tarnished cadaver with a beating heart. This right now could be worse, and it most certainly would be under the cruelty of light.
My knobby knees wobble and I feel the toothpicks that are my ribs heaving, scanning this somehow unfamiliar territory for more; more oxygen, more nourishment, a lifeline affixing me to the veins of life. The skewers of my bones stab me with their desperation for oxygen.
Lacking insulation, even the creak of air within is bone on bone scraping. My mother steadies me, pulling my translucent leathery corpse to the toilet seat. My pelvis grinds into the unyielding surface; but amid paroxysms of terror translating as nothing you’ve ever known, I don’t make a peep.
What remains of thighs hangs dejectedly from my femurs; rotting flesh abandoning the pillars in which they rely. As deftly as possible, she arduously dresses me and I can neither comply not resist while the cotton strikes me like a sleeved hatchet across my whole emptyness.
The fine fur accompanying malnourishment transmits to me the same sickly song. “PAIN. You don’t get to be this pain and be anybody after.” The dying continues, much in the way I used to imagine beautiful manifestations to come to be; swaddled in the pearlescent inside of a seashell. The insides of my shell are anything but. The arcs of my hips thrust angrily against sandpaper skin. They, like the amalgamation of battle that I’ve become, beat furiously against the confines of their torturer. Given a scalpel my organs wouldn’t hesitate to gut me like a carp, if only for the illogical, ethereal moment to escape pain before losing it all.