Stretch one rope thin as an oily fingerprint.
Evaluate breaking point.
If reached, proceed to next step.
Step into back-alley wicked garden full of rainbow graffiti and tangerines.
Remember black scribbly wings, glowsticks, summer bonfires, hope.
Do not remember IV drips, antibiotics, police reports.
Observe one Polaroid snapshot of the way it was.
Soak photographic memory in formaldehyde.
Tape to bathroom mirror. Look until you no longer see.
Change locks one thousand times.
Request key back one thousand and one.
Sprinkle circles of salt and holy water.
Perform Stations of the Cross past posters—Hang In There Baby.
Solve one brain teaser: A ghost is not alive.
Open fist. Release grains of sand. Do not disturb salt circle.
Tie one coffin closed with willow branches.
Weigh down with one cinder block.
Silence one million conspiracy theories.
Take newspaper clippings, photos, string down from wall
until wall is blank, white, clean.
Pull trigger of gun once—
Read word written on red flag.
Discard flag. Do not laugh at old joke. Joke was never funny.
Rip out one hair, chew ten nails to the quick.
Discard fingernails. Discard everything, except for faded Polaroid photo.
Take another, until the crossroads.
Point feet toward future.
Kiss Polaroid picture's surface.
Taste faded chrysanthemums.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ROANNA SYLVER wrote this poem. And also sings, voice acts, draws, has several weird genetic conditions, knows too much about Star Trek, currently writes the oddly-hopeful-dystopian Chameleon Moon series, and lives with family near Portland, OR. The next adventure RoAnna would like is a nap in a pile of bunnies.