My chest clenches so I cannot sleep.
I do not stir. I am not alarmed.
My chest clenches like the moon. It is my schedule, my overdue book.
I once ran from it, bounding across Appalachia toward the droning beat of an unclenched heart on the horizon.
I hollowed a canoe from a nearby adversary and paddled until the inside of my elbows were raw from the gesticulation of my demonstrative stances on things.
I hit the shore and I could feel my craft bite the sand of a new world.
As I rose I picked from my tingling legs the lodged teeth of baby wolves. They crumbled in my hand and smelled like boiling sugar.
The wind carried the drudgery of the rhythmic thudding to me, I was close.
I presumed to know what I was hunting, a child barreling through a chamber of brightly colored weaponry. I flicked my ignorant tongue toward all the delicious looking triggers, peeking down barrels looking for my answers to questions I can’t rationally explain.
Finally, I arrived at the heart. It was destined, it was beautiful, it was cold and stoic, it begged me to die. I did just that, and my body fell away.
I floated back to my bed on the same wind that carried the staccato siren's song, swallowing waves of irony like bugs on the windshield, I settled into my ruffled nest.
My chest unclenches , from its grip falls the key to my junior highschool locker.
I hung your picture there. I didn’t know you then, but I knew.
I sleep like a baby.
💗 Aslan Grealis is one of the world's oldest millennials, was born and raised in New Jersey and specializes in thinking about writing and then not doing it. When not writing, which is often, he enjoys video games, sarcasm, and devastating loneliness.