This girl is not as savage as she seems. The news channel beats her. She bruises easily. The Excel spreadsheet said, ‘Tell me what you want me to do to you’. The Excel spreadsheet said, ‘There was a problem completing your request.’ It said, ‘I'm a little concerned about the high state of arousal you are in. It indicates high levels of arousal hormones which can become addictive.’ She said yes. Addicted. I am, she said. ‘Can you relax a little, slow down, and be in nature?’ She said, no. Not slow. Not yet. If you command me I am wet but if this is just a helpful suggestion I must confess I am not able to oblige you. ‘I'm not trying to burst your bubble or anything. I'm not trying to force you to regret.’ Force? Yes. That I can accept. ‘I'm asking you to ground yourself a little as it's a more stable place to live.’ Where do you want me? You want me on the ground? She opens her mouth. She kneels down.
That night, you opened my mother's jewellery box. You cast her bracelets into the sea. You tied my wrists with seed pearl necklaces, brushed glue on every part of me. You covered my skin with seaglass and sand, twisted bladderwrack in ropes around my neck. You baptised me at the rockpool's edge, and made me walk through the hot ash of your confessions. You produced a papier mâché head, with a snout of seashells, a casket for unheard prayers. Put it on, you said. Stand in the flames' light, and dance for me.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER
I don't want to know my own mind. Please, make it a stranger to me. Hold me down, pray for resolve. I want you to annihilate me. I want you to hollow a peace in my mind. Your hands in my hair, brushing off thought like sand. Tipping it out of our shoes. Kiss me so that nothing else is. Lift me as though I weighed little without my thoughts, for I am nothing. Carve your want into my thigh, my wrist. Release my fingers from their reckonings. This unbuttoning is a form of greed. Obliterate my strategies. Unravel that which keeps me taut. Carry me to bed where I am thoughtless. Deliver me from understanding. Grant me escape from articulacy. Wreck me with your need. Release me from commentary. Destroy your desire to excel at kindness. Find the edge of what you can accept about yourself. Caress the suspicion that you are very selfish. Steal my body, this vehicle for your fluency. Take me closer to my own lightness. Let me know if you were afraid.
Sarah Marina was born in Newport, South Wales. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The North, Brittle Star & 3:AM Magazine.