It’s an oddly serene experience to wake to little red dots on your white linens. I connected them to make a kidney bean. Your panic bothered me, as you wept with every selfish realization that one day you would die too.

My elbows never stuck out like that before. I crossed my arms and felt my thin skin stretch along my dying arms as I struggled to find my inhales. My stinging chest obscured my heart beats. Did you want me to feel sad for you?

I began to think my insides were just a muddy pool of yellow and green, but my blood stained saliva seeping down the drain reminded me of my versicolored biology. I didn’t think of you once.

My body was falling out of itself, and I didn’t even know what that meant. My once rosy lips wrinkled into beige prunes, decorated by infection. I made craters in my mattress, my withering womb. I was happy to have an excuse to leave.

My antibodies betrayed me, x-rays were my only telenovela—only I knew who’d die next. I shrunk, smaller and smaller, until I became unrecognizable. I wanted to do this alone.

Death is not a departure. Death is not a gate to the other side. Death is neither a friend nor foe. Death is the paper body folding into its delicate origami form. The art of the lonely.

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