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Phantom Buzzing

By Ruby Grimes

Instagram: @rubysdreamtheory

"Sometimes we romanticize things and don’t see them in their true form. This piece is about looking back at an unhealthy attachment and feeling a mixture of anger and a longing nostalgia."

Lead me on with laced breadcrumbs

Scatter the sea salt

Wash it down with spoiled milk

I come in after the storm

My hair drips glitter onto the linoleum

Faking fake innocence

Sparkling metal shards trace my back

Icicles find the cracks in my skin

Not much happened outside my head

Tell me there’s not a lot of good in the world

Beg me over and over and over again to stay away from the bad

Take it away

Lock in it a drawer

Dangle the key in front of me

Brassy and worn now

Your fingerprints left marks

Pressed against my mouth

The metal is sweet to me

Tell me I deserve it

Insist that I’m part of the good

Tell me I deserve it one more time

Tell me I deserve it

Sitting on the rocks

You point out the fish

Tilt your head back just-so

Mouth wide open, swallowing light

Gulping like you’ve been locked inside for years

Sunlight drips obscenely out the corners of your mouth

Its rays run down your chin

Staining your skin golden

The sun blesses you

And the sun doesn’t favor sinful things

You wring out the last drops

Until my hair no longer bleeds glitter

It’s a confused color now

Somewhere between indigo and violet

Maybe it should be red

You swallow the key

Its rusted edges catch on the lining of your stomach

--Where you’re soft, vulnerable,

Embarrassingly defenseless--

And tears you to shreds

From the inside, out

Is it my own twisted fantasy?

I still feel the phantom buzzing in my back pocket

I double check

Triple check

My pockets are empty

But the things you told me are strung together with red thread

And stitched through my favorite jeans

Tell me I deserve more

Tell me I deserve better

Tell me I deserve the good in the world

This time, it’s my turn to lie

I tell you I believe you

Sunny days

My shoes stick to the pavement

Chips no longer balance on my shoulders


Deep in the bottom drawer

Of that forgotten file cabinet

Far in the back of my mind

I hear the familiar phantom buzzing

And feel it hum longingly between my skull

If I asked you to, would you tell me I deserve it just one more time?

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