I am so little of what you assume me to be. I am not this skin, not this mole, not this flattened foot arch. I am a cabin in the woods that you come back to in your mind, and I am never the same. I mask mosquitos with noise from creeks and freaks and shagging. I work the gravel through the hands of the earth, work it so it turns to salt, work it so you die a thousand deaths in your head just trying to get closer to it. I am a friendship forgotten, and remembered. I am a swallow on a sweatshirt. I am the musky smell of teenage boy and his awkward constant inadequacy. I am a tangled rope, sipping water until it swings low and heavy like a belly full of watermelon over the edge of the air, threatening to submerge.
What are you?
What are you, really?
Are you the feeling close to the skin of your toes after you’ve stubbed them? Do you miss them? You are so gentle, like a hangnail praying to be left alone; I am all frustration and impatience, you are a sliver stuck under a nail. Undisturbed, festering. You are the hiss of humidity, the perspiration of your pores as they fall closed into a fretful sleep. You are a fretful of sound, struck like a gavel, with intention, you are wafting like acid into the noses of teenagers, burning away nerves. You are the cough that burns your throat, the puff that grows you into a real nationalist. You are all taxi cabs and garbage trucks and tan lines. You move your feet to an uninterrupted hammering of wood, dance like you hear a chopping block, sway like an elm.
What am I?
What am I, really?
I am a landscape. This is not a game. You have 2 more questions.