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Tears stream down the body’s face,

                        first time experienced

with this particular,

            animate,

                                                            marionette,

                                                                 the searing caress of saline
                                                                 nevertheless

                                                                 an all too familiar friend.

It holds the body’s left wrist

(in the body’s right hand)
 
           firmly,

           focusing intently on its breathing

            as it tries to bring

            the suffocating pressure

            emanating from the body’s chest

            under control.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

Out.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

In.

 

It doesn’t work.

(Who

– or what –

does it think it is kidding?)

It never does,

time to focus

on more drastic measures.

It lets the jagged thumbnail
of the body’s right hand
dig into its left wrist

– keeps perfect time

with the tormenting regularity

of the body’s pulse –
 

                                   pressure increasing:

                                             aggressively,

progressively,

exponentially;

                                                                                      pictures an accompanying graph,

                                                                                            curve surging off

into an infinite abyss.

(Euler’s number positively joyous
over its complicit involvement).

Force versus time:

                   interesting thought.

Force.

inertia at best.

Time:

in paralysing overabundance.
 

How much time had it spent living?

It laughs

– to itself –

   conspicuously unaware

   of potential audiences.

Living:

one concept

that never fails to summon

an ironic curvature

onto its body’s lips.

Dying usually being a more apt description,

              but in its case

              not even that

              could be said

              to be true.

 

It wasn’t dying,

never could.

It didn’t matter how much it

wanted,

desired,

or craved it,

             longed,

             yearned,

             or even begged for it;

                          it could not die.

 

Its death wasn’t its to live.

(Having,

on numerous occasions,

             tested the theory,

             and currently in the process

             of a renewed attempt,

             supposing the glistening claret

             leaking from the body’s left wrist

             be permitted

             as supporting evidence

             to the fact.)

But they would never let it

             (die that is);

             they own it

– judicially,

             unequivocally,

             ethically? –

             wouldn’t let it go

             just like that.

It is too valuable,

they had invested too much,

it has so much more to teach them

             (despite the fact

             it itself appears

             to know nothing

             at all).

Returning to matters more visceral,

             it looks down

             at the viscous substance

             oozing from the gash

             – which has now taken form

             on the body’s left wrist –

             the sight of which

             brings its tears

             to a jarring halt.

Self-inflicted pain

(questionable adjective in this case perhaps)

             being more satiating in action

             than as mere thesis

             of thought.

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Lawrence is a postgraduate philosophy student living in Stockholm. His original fiction has been published in Tincture Journal and his translations appear on Monday Art Project.