The Study
Mari Ness

In the mirrors,
a monster with stolen eyes and breath,
hungry for human speech.

In the doors
the shadows of her wedding guests,
mourners weeping over fruits and sweets.

In the walls
sweet roses and disease,
harsh chemicals and slow decay.

In the books
the half-dead words
she did not dare to burn.

In her mind
a thousand voices shouting blame
most echoes of her own.

In her hands
the crinkling papers, deeply inked
with the gathering of bones,
electric currents against dry skin,
the cries of anguish against death.

She feels rough hands upon her neck.
She has paced this line before,
this fragile edge of life and death,
watched her lover hunt for life in charnel bones.

She closes her eyes against that final breath.
For some knowledge she has no need.

Mari Ness
Mari Ness worships chocolate, words and music, in no particular order. Her work has previously appeared at Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Daily Science Fiction, Uncanny, Strange Horizons, Apex, Nightmare, Goblin Fruit and Mythic Delirium. For more, visit her website at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at mari_ness