“But being self obsessed has its benefits,” she calmly asserted. “You find all your inner punctures and clog them with more diversion until you’re ready to undo all the flimsy sutures you created to keep yourself caged, fat with ignorance, running free with delusion. The ones you made that barely hold the skin shut. The ones you made in defense; barbed, of course, loaded always.”

She didn’t look at him the entire time she was speaking. There was a mirror on the wall.

Overthinking creates stories and is another safety blanket, just like stuffing yourself with people, food, luxury, garments, money. It’s not all satiating.” She stuck her tongue out without noticing. “ Let yourself bleed out and you discover some deep crevices that deserve to be abysmal, deserve to be left alone.”

Pausing to chew her last thought and glancing at the floor, she added, “The void. Some people don’t even know which wounds they are hiding, let alone which deserve to stay or how many times they can die and revive in one lifetime. They never even try.”

“And you,” he began, lowering his head to catch her eye. “The graceful phoenix.”

Hey eyes shot up in an instant.

“I do not burn to come back to life though,” she furrowed her brow.

“No?” he grinned.


She turned her attention back to the mirror to play with a poking strand of hair, attempted to flatten it in front of him. She was marinading in that last question.  He sat with his hands in his lap in front of her, patient. Her lips spread open suddenly into a slow, mirthless grin and she didn’t turn to look at him again.

“No, I am made of fire.”

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