Pulse Issue 2: 2023

untitled (our time)

by: G. Morgan

tw: death, queerphobia

I have this dream

where I'm brought into a huge tiled fridge

seafoam green and silver

with the heaviest door I've ever pressed against

to identify a body

doctor rolls out the drawer smooth as a ballpoint pen

and there is a man's body sapped and dull in front of me

I don't know him from adam

but I weep cold tears

until I wake up

I don't know what killed him

but there is something

in the fluttering paper of his face that tells me

we have tasted the same blood

when I have nightmares

I like to go back to sleep

to wash them from my mouth

I used to think that bears

slept all through hibernation without waking

and got jealous

sometimes moving forward

is an effort worthy to make sisyphus sigh

and I am never a hero or even a gentleman about it

when I stand on everyone else's ceiling

and think about how many bodies are floating below

I want to make the city say something to me

I want to get far back enough to find its face and have it say

"there is nowhere too far gone that love cannot reach you"

I have to believe

there is nowhere so bleached barren or buried

no sanctuary or sanitorium so isolated

that love cannot walk to you if you're patient

no pen or sword, barbed wire or grave

that love cannot claw its way out if there are hands willing enough

and as the ocean rises we will teach it to swim

I have to believe

in grottos and parks

in gazebos and gardens

in alleys and in the dark

I have to believe

in heavens on earth

that can be made through clothes and quickly dismantled before anyone sees

I have to grab at this rope and tie it to something before it goes taut

and pray that it holds

I want to stain my hands with the salt unspilled

all those thousands of years

every syllable screaming in a bit-tie tourniquet

"we will have this now, this taste

drunk from our cupped palms

we will rip it flesh and blood from the hidden places

as our last movements

we will make something so beautiful it hurts to look at

and hush it sweetly when we kill it over and over

we will pass by on the street with each other in our spit and no second glance

we will have each other

and someday so will they

and hopefully a bit more room to breathe"

I breathe

I breathe in flaked copper from bodies rusted together in tombs

hands fused like book pages returning to pulp

hands that used to comb each other's hair and cup each other's cheeks

the ambrosia still held in their clenched teeth like ancient honey

I breathe in the distance between oceans

the spaces between bookshelves and school desks and bunk beds

and between best friends

and maybe if I do it deep enough I can fold time down like a vacuum to bellows

like a bone folder to paper

like a flipbook

and I can dance with them all at once

all the sweet-tooths, all the bodies

with names buried like dog tags in the roofs of their mouths

we can cough up the dust and lost wax together

hold back each other's hair

we can identify each other in those silver drawers

and weep as strangers

that have tasted the same blood—

I breathe, I breathe, I breathe for all of us.

g. morgan (any pronouns) is a multimedia artist, writer, & performer currently working primarily in written & audio fiction, poetry, comics, and story-based video games. he is passionate about horror, monstrosity & humanity, and queerness. their work is often soaked in love, grief, change & fluidity, (dis)comfort, and the weird. morgan hopes to offer catharsis and a bit of magic to the world with his work, but failing that, a little laugh or scratch of the head will do. find more at: https://linktr.ee/heebleeart