Radiance Angelina Petro
I go around
With my jaws clenched.
I notice it now ever since
My right jaw has begun to lock
In rebellion while eating.
At night, my teeth work,
Grinding away at whoever it was
I was never meant to be.
Once I saw the skull of a cat
Hanging on a string draped over a gravestone.
It was left there by some Satanists my friend Kris said—
Not the kind of Satanists today that hang around schools
And share vaguely humanistic guidelines for living—
But the kind that, in the early 80’s, met up in graveyards,
Sacrificed cats, and tried to dismantle themselves
From themselves by way of blood and sex.
I am not making this up. I have met people
Who live this way.
And if they ever come anywhere near my cat
I will pound wooden crosses
Into their chests.
Whatever it is inside
That says to me, day in, day out:
“Go. There is nothing here.”
Quieted yesterday. I am only now
Noticing it, because today
I woke to it screaming in my ear.
Inside the bone,
Living marrow streams,
Holding it all together,
In much the same way
A traveling current of glue
Keeps me from leaping off the world.
Sense of purpose: Darkness.
Seeing the way ahead: Gone.
So many things to do: Exhausted.
The few, illusive moments of hope: Untetherable.