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The monster, it’s here. “Take anything, take my foot—
just not my brain!” The figure in the doorway isn’t swayed,
it lumbers toward me, I crawl under the bed but my foot is grabbed.
Has it decided?—To take the foot instead?—

No. My skull pops open, the world comes in.
Exactly thirty-two thoughts occur simultaneously, it’d be impressive
if it didn’t hurt so much, make my heart do Handstand Scorpion.
“Look, you’ll be able to accomplish so much more without sleep!”
the monster says, from the perch in the back of my head.
I ignore it, take Tylenol PM and 10mg Melatonin, Ativan,
the monster sits on its perch in the back of my head,
hand on the chain that turns off the light, just holding it,
not yanking it or doing anything, staring at me staring back.

There are directions for such a situation written in the folds of my brain:
“Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.”
“Just get some sleep.”

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Eros/Thanatos by Joanna Krótka

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So I have a few tattoos here and there, but I decided to get a quarter sleeve done, because—why the fuck not? Better than loose peachy flab. Anyway, here’s some of the development:

After the tracing paper was applied.

Linework after it was first done, waves added.

This was the truly horrible part. The background coloring, which took four hours because I did it at a tattoo expo and not only did the artist keep stopping to talk to people, I was also stupid enough to drink so I was bleeding like a stuck pig and getting up constantly to piss. As painful as it was, it was still a very cool experience. Overall, I enjoyed being tattooed in front of people.

And the bloody finale.

Nicolas Bruno

If only the nervousness lasted longer,
I could have been afear’d for hours more,
but when the nightmare ended I awoke
with steadied heartbeat, no scream in my throat–
if you would, please, scare me,
horrify me, plague me, terrorize me,
leave me looking over my shoulder,
make me sit and wait for it to be over
and over, and over, and over

“Numinous Emotions,” Helena Wierzbicki

When speaking with a human being,
be sure to make direct eye contact.
Your pupils assert some dominance,
your irises give some implications.
Be brave and hold someone’s gaze,
to recognize them as a real person,
someone to listen to, look at, believe in,
or challenge. There’s a brain behind those
jellied skull pockets.

Artist, Jill Lena Ford

Everyone’s emotions form differently,
there’s usually a center or a cloud of some sort
and then everything spirals out of control from there,
crystallization in every direction and turning in on itself;
it’s frightening.

Sometimes I think your emotions are the same as mine,
but with closer inspection I can see some shapes are off.
And when you pick up someone’s emotions, staring
into the spiking, twisting, angled geode
you’ll find that you understand the person no better
than you did before.

They’re just captivating, though, some tiring,
and I can’t stop picking them up.
I’ve mangled my hands all over yours,
but it seems I can’t stop picking them up.
They won’t stop growing wherever we’re going,
every one different, and lovely, awful, and off.

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