I trace my tongue across my cracked lips, like the earthen floor opening up in lightening bolt lines, sucking all the water down into the depths. I taste blood; always blood in my mouth. Copper. Ruby droplets. Rivulets of my heart. Your face above mine, etching your lines into my skin. Dragon eyes and dilated pupils catching flickers of fluorescent light. I claw over freckles and scars and memories, skin that catches fire like mine, hands that give. I don't ever want to forget your eyes. — I am a forest fire inside flesh that stretches and aches and carries me through my manic mind. A rage to burn cities. A rage to burn it all down. A frustration that is tempered with pain and paint. There is only one letter difference. — I cry myself to sleep, silent sobs wracking my body, curling inwards, holding onto soft cotton as if it can transform into another human being to help quiet my mind. I remind myself that this is what I asked for, this is part of healing, of grieving, of letting go. To learn how to be my own person. To not rely on others for security. I fall asleep in my tears and dream of the smell of salt water, of mist rising over a tiny town by the ocean in the early hours of the morning. I walk down silent streets that feel asleep and peaceful. My feet are cold in the sand and the beach is dark and empty, stretching into the night. The ocean sings its forever song, of ebb and flow, push and pull, receiving and letting go. I sit on a rock above it all and breathe in the scent of the sea, allowing it to teach me how to be. Part memory, part longing.