a gathering of spirits

When they ask you how you’re doing, tell them you’re working on a master’s degree on breath control. Tell them you’ve decided to start a religion collaged with meditation, masturbation and memory loss. When they want to know about your (latest) relationship, tell them the moon didn’t return your phone call last night, but you are hopeful. When they comment on your skinny, swallow a piece of mandible and show them your indent. When you forget how to collapse, return to the concrete that held you seven years ago and howl toward the one who kept you safe for a night. When they want to get you drunk, slur your way toward an exit sign. When a stranger confides in you that war is everywhere so we must turn ourselves into bullets and charge, remove their weaponry with the sound of your voice and locate the nearest burst of star. When they tell you how sorry they are, ask them to sing a song from the furthest distance inside them. When they need to mourn longer, collect nests and sew one big enough for them to carry their weep away. When they want to know where you’ve run off to, mail them a root of your hair with a type-set message that reads: here. When they walk past you, travel miles to the nearest reservoir and gather its water; maybe they are thirsty. Tell them you are no longer an atheist, rather a belief-monger intent on translating shadows. When they tell you to call more often, tell them you’ve disconnected all your outlets but unhinged all your doors so come in come in come in.