by Holly Wells

They tell me I am here so they can tame the lightning in my brain.

For a while I think they have succeeded because the medicine that drives away the jolting flashes has made the darkness come alive. Shades try to slip unnoticed around the edges of things, but their heavy presence lingers like cold air over chasms. I sit in a stupor, waning and wasting.

But the remnants of darkness wrapping me round have no intention of staying after a lonely star spills across the shadows. My mind awakens, joy-struck, even the least things shining like angels in the perpetual gloom.

A veil shimmers and lifts, and I see what has been here all along. In this dark lunatic asylum is the deep light of falling stars. Yes, this place encroaches upon the inmates within, but I see the moonlight demanding to enter, dissolving the high walls to mist.

The shadows keep stumbling into the path of the moon, into the fallen starlight, and the night becomes brilliant.

The doctors and the workers speak to me, their shallow voices safe as midday.

They try to tell me it is daytime now, but I paint what I see, willing my glimpses into gazes.

I touch the side of my head, the hole that my ear once covered, and I know only that these stars bleeding in the dark night are guiding me to where my soul-wounds will heal.

I abandon myself to this light. I have no choice.

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