The smoke from my cigarette swishes about my hands—it swishes about the beaks of the birds on the branches above, too, although they forgive me for my sins because I’m a child of nature the same as them. The fingers on my hands rattle like cutlery in a drawer. Knives as sharp as teeth. Spoons caked with dried sugar. Dressed in black and scowling as I so often am, the hours roll away like waves retreating to sea. The sea is an ocean. It’s also a womb that resembles a river near some mountain in America where her sex shines like a watery sun. These days. Those days. All the days as they flicker in and out of existence like the flame of a match in a basement where the devil begs you to sink to your knees and join him in a game of Patty Cake. One of those sexual, suggestive games where the merest rub of skin on skin is like soul kissing in the pouring rain. There’s love and nothingness the same as there always is, and when hurt is healed by imagined touch, the wound closes only to reopen even wider. You chase it the way you chase your next high—a high that leaves you scratching at the sky. The leaves hit my face. They smell of her hair. Her hair smells of fresh linen. Her feet in my hands—they smell of what I want. Their touch beneath my fingers akin to the touch of a sweet treat beneath my greedy, probing tongue. My tongue is a worm, swaying in the dirt as the rain falls from above. On days like these, it gets too much that I can barely breathe, but this giddiness won’t last forever. I suffer, but it’s not always foolish to play the fool.