Vermilion, prose by May Garner at
Vladimir Fedotov



written by: May Garner


I wander the skin of my hands and wonder where the darkness seeps in from time to time. There are no wounds here, only sorrow. No holes bowing open, no slits that wait for the right to slip out and away. There are no willing ways for the darkness to find me, to crawl into me, to live inside me, but it does, anyway. It’s meant for me, that rusted seal of charcoal that chips away any good I do. I follow every path and bleed sweet nothings from my lips, but all that the world feeds me is red.

The vermilion kind, the one that stains a set of flesh after its use. I look now and don’t catch sight of it, but I know it is there, lurking under, living below the grit of my fingerprint. Out of sight, but never out of mind; I know of the low bloat that surfaced in my belly, the overflow of wrong doings and bad timings, and wretched mumbles that should have never left my lips. These hands and the crimson that is soaked into cannot even hold steady to lace thread up and through, to seal off my set of crooked lips, not even if they truly wanted to.

The past is not what I asked for, not what I wanted. I never asked to meet him or them, or any soul with soiled intentions licked in their veins. It rubbed off on me, that ugly nature, the foul parts of them that made them so venomous. I did not ask to be this way, to heave this weight, to crack my fingers out of place every time a syllable touches me in the wrong place, but I do it, anyway. I ruin what was never mine to own, and I throw that guilt over my shoulders, where I know it will only grow old, never taken care of, never seen again.

I want to be the girl who bleeds for you, the one that gives for you, the one who never sheds a single tear, but I cannot. I don’t own what I need. I was never given all of my pieces, never left in the right direction to collect what was needed, therefore I have never been whole. How can I be everything you need and all that you want, the only person to lift you up right, when I cannot do that for my own good? I cannot be broken when I have never been complete, and yet, I cannot be complete if you continue to chip away at what I already own. There is no good that comes from these veins, this heart, and mind of mine. There was never any hope.

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