Moe’s Mouth

Things don’t happen to me. I wake up, I go to work, I come home, I go to sleep. That’s it. Life is normal and uneventful and I’m happy with it staying that way. Until I found the mouth.

It started with an itch. A tickling on the edge of my elbow and then there was the tooth. White and edged sticking out the side of my arm. I tried not to worry about it too much at first, it would go away if I ignored it, as most things do. That’s what I thought anyway. And then, 

another tooth

the curve of lips 

a tongue. 

I wore long sleeve shirts outside, if I left the house at all. Spit leaked down my arm through my clothes and stained my sheets. I kept pretending it wasn’t there. Friends would ask and I would lie and then they would ask again and then I wouldn’t see them anymore. I stuck to the shadows in my home, keeping my back against the wall and avoiding mirrors. 

I didn’t want to know about it. It would go away I was sure of it. I don’t have health insurance and the doctor scares me. It was my only hope that it would just go away. 

And then last night it spoke to me.

When it woke me up I thought it was just the wind. My window was closed but there was this whispering floating around the room. And then the whispers became words.

I tried not to listen. I covered it with blankets and pillows but the mouth just got louder. It rang around the room and bounced back into my body. Soon the voice sounded like it was coming from inside my head and then there was no ignoring it.

It spoke to me about things I had forgotten about.

Words soft played memories back for me, projecting them against the back of my eyes and making me remember. Things.

Like in school when Tim tried to lift up my skirt in the playground so I put a stick in his eye. I got a week’s detention and he had to go to hospital. He didn’t talk to me after that and had a patch over his eye for the rest of the year.

Or the last time I saw my mother cry. I had just got home from the late shift at Pizza Hut and found that one of our dogs had killed a possum and left it on the back porch. It smelt sweet, like the bottom of a vegetable crisper. I didn’t know what to do so I woke mum up and watched her stumble outside in her pyjamas and try to scrape the possum up with a shovel. It was so soft and heavy that it kept falling off the shovel as she walked it to the bin, forcing her to scrape it up off the ground over and over again. When she finally dumped it in the green bin she went straight to bed without saying a word. The stains on the pavement are still there.

And in winter when it is cold enough that you could see your own breath I used to stand outside in a t-shirt and wait until my fingers went numb. Then I’d run inside and jump into the shower, turning the water up as hot as it would go so the shock of the heat would make my skin feel like I was melting. Not in a bad or painful way, just melting like an ice block against fingers, or cream on a cake. I’d then run back in and out of the house until mum would scream at me about the drought and water restrictions and pneumonia. I used to love that.

Everything the mouth said was so far away but right next to me. I couldn’t believe how much I had forgotten. Like dreams my own life played out in front of me until the sun rose against my bedroom wall and the mouth’s words faded away.

Anyway I spoke to my GP this morning. We’re getting it removed next Tuesday. I told you things just aren’t meant to happen to me and I’m happy with it staying that way.

YouTube Comment

Razors cut lines. You are the reason I can’t be me. Why can’t you believe that we can be better? Evolve beyond history, beyond toxic norms and bad behaviour? Where is your empathy not for battle lines but for human beings? You are the reason the world will die. Razors cut lines. We are all given ultimate power yet so many of us take that from others not realising it doesn’t make us any stronger. This is not new and it is not impossible to grasp. Tangible and evident in the everyday. Razors cut lines. No one is saying that you are wrong and that you are evil simply by existing. However by actively harming people you are putting yourself in the very box you don’t want to be in and if you keep behaving as you are you will be buried in it. Bricks that stand in the way of change are simply thrown aside. Razors cut lines. Your pedestal is brittle and precarious and I hope for your sake and mine that this platform you shout down from does not have the permanence we believe it has. Realise you can come down from there before you fall. This life is a choice and you can be better. You are the reason the world will die but you can also be the reason it survives. Razors cut lines.

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Tokyo, Japan. 2018.

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The Elephant In The Room

The tiny man that lives in my chest is breathing louder.
Longer.
His lungs swell and ribcage expands and with each breath instead of retreating his body continues to grow. He sits curled, his spine arched and face unseen and with every inhale I feel my bones creak. You stand above me, watching me from the ceiling. Glaring and spinning as the room spins with you, one eye is fire, the other a ticking clock.

The clock strikes one.

You scream at me with a mouth invisible. From screens taped to my hands, pasted on every desk and available wall space you scream at me. Miles away, you remain in my view and in my head. Frightened by your screams the man in my chest breathes heavier and heavier.
I watch my skin stretch and distort. Like bubble gum on the pavement, like cling film torn on a serrated edge, my skin is changing. The colour becomes pale in the spots that are thinnest and scars once thick and healed become pink and splitting. I am breaking.

The clock strikes two.

You are everybody that isn’t me. Everybody that hates me. You are the news in my feed, the looks on the train, the scorned lover that believes me dirt. You are strong and I am weak. The man in my chest cannot withstand your war and my flesh and blood cannot contain him.
In my body the second room that is the housing that holds my heart and lungs aches. Walls are cracking and foundations below are receding. I want to open the door. I need space so the man can expand without hindrance but the key I have been given does not fit the lock. The man does not heed the cries of my insides as they are crushed.

The clock strikes three.

My stomach bursts as the man breathes in once more. I want to stop him. I need to stop him. With every message and hint of you the man breathes in and I am terrified he will not stop. Please stop screaming at me. I can be better. I can be good. But I need you to stop. I want this to stop and you want this and maybe you want him.
When he emerges maybe I will be replaced. As he stands in my stomach, my body twisted and broken underneath him like the shell of an egg, maybe he will step forward and become me. Be the me you always wanted and maybe finally I will be better.

I want it to be over.

The clock strikes four.

Mint Cornetto

IMG_3851
Adelaide, Australia. 2017.

Music plays out of the car speakers, crackly and sweet. I like this song. Dad ripped this to a CD for me when I asked him to. Mum opens the driver’s door and sits back down in the car, switching off the radio. She hands me a Cornetto and I curl my lip.
“This is mint.”
“It’s all they had.”
“I hate mint.”
She sighs then leans back in her chair, placing her own ice-cream against her cheek. There’s a bruise there the same colour as my favourite jacket. I’m bored.
“I want to go outside.”
“Not now.”
“I want to go for a swim.”
“I said no.”
I sigh as loud as I can then lean forward, resting my elbows on the dash. I can see in front of us where the car park ends and the sand continues before giving way to sea. It’s so dark out there. The sea and the sky are the same colour and all I can see is black. I yawn.
“Can we go home?”
“Not right now.”
“When?”
“Not for a while. We’re going to stay at Aunty Grace’s.”
“That’s ages away.”
“I need you to be good for me okay?”
“I want to go home.”
Mum turns the radio back on.
“Try to get some sleep.”
She shuts her eyes and pulls her jacket around her shoulders. The radio is quiet and behind it I can hear waves crashing. A wind blows and makes the car shake. Suddenly I want to turn the radio up a little louder.
A woman is singing a song I recognise. One of the old songs my parents would listen to before they stopped listening to songs. I sing to it under my breath and unwrap my ice-cream.
Mint is sticky on my fingers and mum is snoring when her phone rings. It’s dad so I answer it.
“Hey dad.”
“Where’s your mum?”
“She’s asleep.”
Mum stirs. I watch her eyes open.
“Tell me where you are sweetheart.”
“We’re at the bea-”
“No!”
I’m pushed back as mum leaps across the car. Her shoulder knocks my head against the side window and I yelp as she rips the phone from my grip. She throws it to the backseat then turns to me with eyes red.
“What did you do? What did you say?”
I’m holding the back of my head. It hurts and the pain is pushing against the front of my face. I’m not listening. I’m crying. Quiet at first and now louder. I screw my eyes shut and hope for everything to stop.
I recoil as arms curl around my middle but relax when they pull me in tight. Hands go up my neck and cradle the back of my head. I let my face fall into mum’s chest.
“I’m sorry baby.”
“I want to go home.”
Hands stroke my hair. The radio is playing a song I don’t know and behind it I can hear waves rising and falling.

Na(I)ls

IMG_8429
Adelaide, Australia. 2018.

My fingernails won’t stop growing won’t stop growing
my fingernails
won’t
stop

growing forward
and backward

inside my skin.
They
won’t
stop.

My fingernails
they’re under my skin
down through my elbows and into my chest
my fingernails wrap around my ribs

dying vines

pushing through my lungs
stop
growing
I don’t know how to stop
them
growing.

I keep writing the same things
and nothing is changing.
Nothing is stopping me grow
inwardly
under my skin.

My fingernails are turning me inside out
and I let them.

(who)le

IMG_0019
Adelaide, Australia. 2018.

There’s a hole in my head and everyone is looking at it. Looking through it from one side of my mind to the other.
The hole is growing. Stretching. Across my forehead meeting tear duct
nostril
then mouth.

Everyone is looking at me.

The hole in my head spreads down my body to the floor. I consume the room.
I consume my friends
the music we listen to
the roof above our eyes
the night sky

falls in.

No one is looking at me anymore.