FIVE THINGS I WANT TO DO AND LATER REGRET
1. ALIEN ABDUCTION
when i did cbt, my therapist talked a lot about exposure and recontextualising fear. my biggest fear has always been abduction (by humans, mostly, but there’s something about tractor beams and green light and hazy neons that makes my heart race). maybe if i went up there it wouldn’t be so bad; maybe they’d roll down the window and let me stick me head out like a dog, taking great mouthfuls of space, breathing in stars, letting black holes ruffle my hair. plus, it might be kind of hot to be probed and opened up; cracked like a mystery, like the spine of a book, like a mango twisted along the length of its hard parts. the regret, i think, would come later, toes dusted with earth and brain dusted with the realisation that i am changed beyond repair, and can never go back.
2. TRANSMUTATION INTO A CAN OF PEACH WATER
i think there would be something spiritual, divine, heavenly, even, about being transformed from a fuzzy-skinned and solid-pitted thing, to the broken down nothingness of pure, sweet juice. to be crushed into something that exists solely for easy and ecstatic consumption by others. to be gulped down, hissing and fizzing, by a sweaty girl, dripping and stoned and desperate as me. the regret would creep in when i realise, floating in stomach acid and reminiscing on the good times as i am burned away in the dark, that i have been watered down for pussies who dont have the guts to stand naked over the sink and let peach juice run down their fingers and arms and chest in that way where its fruit soul becomes visible.
3. THE ABSOLUTE OF A BROKEN BONE (MY OWN)
when i was seven, there was a spate of bone-breaks that rippled and snapped through the girls in my class at school. i missed out, and continue to miss out, having never broken a bone, well into adulthood; still and always too cautious; still and always standing at the edge of girlhood and shuffling my queer little feet. i’ve never felt it; never felt what i imagine to be a pinching kind of pain; a kind of popping surprise as you realise something inside me just came undone. i think i deserve to feel it, if for no other reason than to be humbled. plus, it might be kind of hot to do it by jumping, drunken, from the roof and having someone, quirked eyebrows and disdainfully pretzel-mouthed, stand over me and say i told you so while i weep, nestled in nightwet grass and regretful.
4. THE ABSOLUTE OF A BROKEN BONE (SOMETHING ELSE’S, BY MY HAND)
i wake often at night, hot with bloodthirst and impossible strength and a desperation to put my fist through something, to stop a heart and tie little knots into veins. i always thought it was a very male cliche, a very feminine rage type of impulse i would never experience, but it turns out i am a dog through and through, a bad bad dog whimpering out from under table legs. i am scaled and scaling my own body constantly, an ouroborian, alien creature. when people laugh too loud beneath my bedroom window past midnight, i fantasise about bursting from my own skin, shaking it off like a bad, wet dog, and whimpering out from under it. i would be a wolf, a tiger, a leather-clad matrix-type who isn’t afraid to hurt. i would slither out from my closed window in a haze of black smoke and make those strangers bleed, and only regret it after, panting and dripping onto cold concrete.
5. TO BE BURIED ALIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT
i drive through spain in a jeep, visiting family. this is something i have done many times; usually i notice only alpine mountains and their pines dropping dark snow, their thistles in my feet, their heights and buzzards that make me cry without realisation. this time, i sit in the back seat, letting the heat batter my eyes, letting the wind crawl in through my nostrils and cling to the back of my throat like the little green lizards that come out at night when we water the plants. everything is red, ochre, yellow. everything is dry and crisp and pale-dark. the buildings smell like hot dust; the people dress like cowboys. i want to die out here, i think, watching storks pick over their nests the way my mother picks over the living room. i want to crawl out beneath the breathing earth and the grinning cacti and make a cool, damp hole for myself, six feet down or so. when i can’t sleep, when the weight of the world is on me, i go to this hole deep in the desert, imagine bearing only a much lighter weight: just a few feet of loose soil packed around my shoulders. the regret would come, i think, with the realisation of my humanity. the realisation that, once the sun went down over my grave, and i was left in a loud and shifting emptiness, i would never again be found by human hands, and all their implications.
Rabbitfeet (they/she) is a queer, non-binary writer who enjoys exploring gender, queerness, and nature. Their tales are those of the very human through the lens of the non-human. Expect mangled word choice, a little terror, and transcendental joy. And animals. Lots of animals. They can be found on Twitter @rabbitfeetpoem.