My cell had no window, no light bulb. Hallucinations:

tortured faces; a gargoyle on my chest sipping

my lungs through a straw. With a nail from my boot

I scratched help in the dirt ten thousand times – until

it clicked I was holding the key out of there. After I escaped

that first sunrise burned like acid. As the world detonated

into colour, I bit down on my tongue, tasted

freedom. Then I ran for the hills, the moors beyond,

chanting the name of everything I saw to make it

real: field… lamb… skull... crow. I hugged shadows

to begin with. By noon, I was gorging on the sun.

That first nightfall felt like loss. I swore I saw men

with torches coming through the trees to take me back.

It was mindfuckery, just insects – a miracle of fireflies.

I caught one, ate it. I needed some light on the inside.


First published in Magma