|Caught on fire and ensnared by the object of my affection, I burn.
The ropes that once held me to the smoldering platform have remained as ashes for some time now, and yet I remain unmoved.
Every small contraction of a muscle for the purpose of a movement away from the flames is followed by fear and the movement back to the same spot. I dare not move.
I forget how I have come to this Salem, but this is because I have forgotten myself.
Looking up, I spot a mirror. The reflection holds what could only be a figment of what I once was. I close my eyes, but the flames have burnt this image upon my mind.
It is the same flame that has constructed me into an outline of my once so independent body now melted to a spot that I know I will never move from.
I think back on the recollection of my former life. Smiles, pleasant thoughts, and satisfaction serve only to haunt my now grimacing and throbbing new life upon the blazing boards.
My only hope is for someone to move me, for I can no longer move myself. The object of my affection burns me, but does not see me burn. The object of my affection sees just as the other faces around me do, as they do not. The ashes from my mangled body fall upon the eyelashes of the moving bodies, the walking bodies, but their own ashes cloud their vision, and they do not see me.
I scream out, trying to be heard, but they turn away. Their watches tell them there is no time to stop, and their ears are so tangled with their own screams that within a few steps, mine are lost.
Others that are standing on their own platforms, held by different affections become angry and lash out at the moving bodies, but I understand. I can see the platforms beneath the ones that move when others can’t. While they are not burnt by their own objects, they are being burnt by other entities, and who am I to distract them with my own petty suffering. My body being scalded is of no more importance than the clothes that lay as ashes. So I silence my screams and search for new support, quickly realizing that the lack of support is what led me to this platform.
I look across the grey distance and watch as someone moves from their platform. Once burning, they are now an ember, barely recognizable and mangled. I strain my eyes for a more clarified view, and what I see shocks me. They are a mangled perfection. Beautiful before and previous to this improvement thought to be impossible, they shine ever more radiantly. The power they hold strikes through the melted skin and the blistered eyes. I envy them. And I pity them.
Their object is gone from them. They have nothing to love. And yet they shine. Oh how I want to shine.
I long to move from the place I hold to. I desire a new life, a separate life, but I do not know if I can find another object, or if another object will find me. This uncertainty retracts my movements and leaves me dormant, standing still on a platform that tears at my skin and my being.
I long for the period of numbness that always follows the intense bouts of pain. Sometimes, I can even find a joy in the numbness. It is the times of joy that I hold hands with insanity, and it is the times of joy that keep me holding to the platform.
Afraid of losing my periods of joy and terrified of what my mangled body would look like, I hold to. Knowing more pain than pleasure, I resist the flames, but thinking of my object of affection, I dare not let go. The prospect of becoming this idea of a mangled perfection is not enough to pacify the threats of becoming a floating ash.
I want to be a mangled perfection. But caught on fire and ensnared by the object of my affection, I burn.