his inkblots look like dead bodies or
the diagrammes of sandcastles.
there is something painfully sterile about
the way she dreams in black and white
of rugged coastlines and breathing saltwater.
"go on," the doctor says, though she
hasn't said anything yet. she tells him
about how her one true love tastes like
mint, and he smiles and nods, nods and
smiles, pretends to note it on his clipboard.
she doesn't want to be labeled
as a system error.
she has always loved broken seashells
and mindless people wiped clean, like
magnetized hardware with blood pounding
through their cabled veins. she feels them
pulsing. wanting. ghosts in her machine.
once she dropped her digital camera in
the ocean and watched it spark and sputter.
she dreamt of a quiet world captured in a
some days she is the broken seashell
and she holds herself to her own ear to
better hear the ocean tremble. some days
she is torn apart by sharks and machines
while bystanders on shore capture her
with waterlogged cameras.
she's afraid of dripping saltwater
on her doctor's notes.