From Tweak

By Nic Sheff

“Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep doing this. It’s like there are seven candles lit in my stomach. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Seven candles burning and smoking – lit – seven flames of doubt, fear, sorrow, pain, waste, hopelessness, despair. They turn my insides black with soot and ash. There is something at the back of my eyes- a pressure building, building, building – hot like the flames of seven candles, which no amount of breath can extinguish.
I imagine drinking glasses of water. One, two, three four, five, six, seven. I dive into the clearest pool. I drown myself in the coarse, dry sand. I swallow handfuls of crushed white salt, but the flames burn still – brighter, hotter, deeper. Sweat runs in delicate patterns down my back, over my crooked spine and jutting hips. I scratch at the wounds these last weeks have left, but I can’t break free of them. The flies gather and vultures circle overhead. The fire eats away my flesh. The fire spreads. The fire runs through my veins. The fire courses beneath my muscles – my tendons – the marrow of my bones.”

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