Between both of you, I am spider: I am language twisting-twisting. Carved runes in your skull speak in stuttering ruts. The elegance of the design belies a path taken too easily and too often. All too easily your flesh acceded to the discipline of insect fauna and allowed itself to be carried off to feed the queen.

Between one of you, I am both of you, twinning. A smooth skull, a carved skull, a lascivious body giving my flesh. Eye sockets unable to feast cry saliva. Enzymes leak through the forest floor. We achieve trinity in the forest, in the compost, in the gutter. We glow.

Between all of you, I am none of you, I am ancient. I masquerade as beauty and accede my flesh to the discipline of light. Somewhat human, my fingers rifle through twigs and earthworms. Somewhat trans-human, my body folds like an equation redefining time. Desecrated and lost, I grab your skulls as I penetrate the universe, empty and meaningless as your skulls and the universe are, and weigh myself down with the emptiness of your memories. Your memories tie me to the sordid ground. Light flies by and leaves me clutching dirt.

Between both of you, any of you, I am desperate: I am memory leaving-leaving. This beautiful body is not you or me. These empty eyes are not mine or yours. We are the same, we are the folding. We are not light or easy or beautiful. We are the dark, ugly and difficult folding of eyes asking to be filled. Eyes so empty of questions our flesh burns off in a glowing chemical fog.

Between both of you, I am spider, I am language spinning-spinning. I hatch past your silence, leg-scampering and wishing, wishing. I spin fog in your world and bask in your crying, crying. Your flesh becomes fog in the wars you design. You are beautiful dying, dying.

Published by: Joe

Joe Koch writes literary horror and surrealist trash. A Shirley Jackson Award finalist, Joe is the author of The Wingspan of Severed Hands, The Couvade, and Convulsive. Their short fiction appears in publications such as Vastarien, Southwest Review, Pseudopod, and Children of the New Flesh. He’s been a flash fiction judge for Cemetery Gates Media as well as co-editing the art horror anthology Stories of the Eye from Weirdpunk Books. Find Joe (he/they) online at horrorsong.blog and on Twitter @horrorsong.

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