I let the words die on my finger tips for days, weeks, months, years; failed attempts to staunch the bleeding, to curb the sentences and story lines that ripped through my skin in the small hours of early morning wounds opened, reopened until I no longer recognized the person staring back at me from the page.

It is the lie I tell myself when I lay awake at four o’clock in the morning with a story racing around in my mind and I do nothing but lie in the darkness, kneading the pillow with my knuckles and praying to fall asleep. The words never die. Instead they wait. Wait in the shadows, the corners and sidewalks where the street lights don’t quite reach. Patient bastards. Unsent letters, threads and ideas huddled together, creeping closer and plotting.

Eight cups of coffee measure my day. What will I use to measure the night? Lines, pages, piles.

The kettle boils. Jasmine tea brews, and I bend my head towards the light, ready to bleed in black ink.



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