To Kiss the World Through a Veil of Lead


Your long fingers hurt, their previously smooth joints now solidified, rough and brittle. Your body is expanding in an uncontrollable gooey mess, spreading your skin thin to the point it could burst and spill your organs on ground and air. You pass your hand on your torso, feeling the patches of now furless swollen skin from whose pores some of your humours drip. Finding a hole in the ground, you enter it and smear your discharges on its walls.

You are startled by the noise of your first limb falling to the ground. Many more follow, and with each drop you feel lighter: crusty skin becomes dust in the air; the sharp pain that weeps down to the hairs in the lower part of your body is not devoid of joy. The experience is just as you remembered, though perhaps this time you have waited too long.

You wave away the doubt with your last limb. You use it to pierce the upper part of your body, forcing it to explode: you see nothing, hear nothing, perceive nothing besides the warmth of your grisly juices already boiling around you. You hiss as you cook inside this hole filled with the remnants of your old and decayed body.

What starts as a whisper inside your muscles grows to hands that unpick them, one by one, and weave their single strands in pentagonal patterns atop your skin. You feel yourself shrivel inside this corpse-cocoon, draining all nutrients and energy from your body until you are a thin strip of cartilage guarded inside a hollow container. The liquids from your former body finally evaporate and leave only the dry husk of your weaved muscles and hulled out organs. With time, erosion will disintegrate this shell and you will begin to grow again.