11:00. My eyes keep drifting shut.
There's a stack of pages before me; I've been reading a single line on repeat. I finally grasp it, swept into a set of complexities, absurd jargon, self-aggrandizing case studies. They're rabbit holes of ideas, references, pretension and philosophy.
I’m breathing again and I’m breathing black and white. I wear tiny glasses instead of pants; the side of my hand is stained. My eyes drift toward each other, posture deteriorates and I’m unable to stop. There's ink in my blood.
This is new, this is old, renaissance on paper. This is an escape, a challenge, my fix, the cure. In bed with text far past when sleep starts calling. Glowing screens in dreams, even.
There’s verse to unravel and the night can’t keep it from me.
I want to push my fingers through the page and let the words crawl up my arms, want to coat myself in complex thought and oil my feet with phrasing. I’m new and old and rusty, tantalized and terrified.
I was starving, now I gorge on discourse. I tour Foucault like Faulkner, pausing to taste each word and press it to my eyes. I tear through quotations and vandalize pages with thoughts, brackets, lines under lines under lines.
Words are bitter, they burn like whiskey and I’m drunk like I haven’t been in years. I want to smear ink under everyone’s eyes, howl in unison, chant in every language just to feel speech in our throats. I chatter to anyone who will listen I run my mouth I let words fall one by one by the hundreds and I waste them because I can. I’m nonsense and sass, tactless and excitable.
I read all day and have nothing else to do. I can’t help but answer questions, taking the stage with mediocre reflection, meandering analysis. I read all day and sleep sated. My hand starts to ache but it doesn't signify; I need to write and remember. I read all day and the back of my mind draws blanks. It’s found focus, it's satisfied.
When don't read I’m numb; single purpose is limiting and alien. There's listlessness in resolved anxiety, closure breeds boredom. I draw lines under lines under lines.
Fall back to old habits, circle the wagons with instruments and timetables. There are worlds worth of words for the savoring if I flip pages to the right, if I splay my fingers and thrust my palms; Na!
I return from the library crooked with book weight and ambition. I know where this leads; full mouth, clenched jaw, sore neck. Yet a year is nothing, even as butter over too much bread. I'll scour and scrawl, I'll toughen my fingertips and coat myself in chlorine.
I'll read and run and my eye will twitch as it starts to see color.