Bled | by Spencer Lucas Oakes

     My sister jumped and I did not see her oily head resurface.

     I walked away from friends and deeper into the forest. I looked for a place suitable to take a minute, as they say. I was barefoot. I left my sandals on the rocky cliff where everyone was launching themselves into the air and into the lake’s water.

     The glass positioned itself past my skin’s surface and softly clinked one of the twenty-six bones living among a hundred muscles and tendons and ligaments.

     A medical doctor who didn’t practice anymore said it was a clean cut and that it would be fine with proper care. I had so many questions.

     You’ll be fine, he said.

     What if I bled out?

     What if I walked on glass and bled out?

     What if I walked on glass and bled out and the muscles in my body dried up like lentils and turned to dust and proteins and it all spilled from my body like rice from a sack?

     What if I stepped on glass and it shattered inside me and the new fragments found homes in my tendons and years later turned to diamonds?

     What if I could cultivate those diamonds for profit and be a one-footed millionaire?

     What if the wound found infection and traversed my bloodstream into my brain?

     What if I stepped on glass and my infected brain could no longer operate correctly and urged me to set my bungalow on fire?

     What if my extended family was inside when I did it?

     What if I stepped on glass and the portion of the glass I stepped on was originally part of a clear root-beer bottle someone used in the transference of hate from an unsteady hand to a non-stop head?

     What if it the hand and head were mine?

     What if I walked on glass and a mongrel tongued around my deep wound, drooling on my foot through the bandages, which turned soft pink, and the heeler’s teeth impaled my foot ten times over, amalgamating into a bacterial ecosystem of pebble-sized gashes, creating the first utopia?

     What if I stepped on glass and the glass became me and I became the glass and I stabbed a motherfucker’s foot?

     What if the sharp glass pried open up a portal to a primordial dimension made of space dirt and I let myself depart from this planet of nuclear smoke and induced floods?

     When I returned, my sister’s blond skull had opened and rested on the crag as maroon blood found its way through her unfurled bale of wet hay like massless light rays distorted around a black hole’s negative space.

     You’ll be fine, I said.




Spencer Lucas Oakes is a Canadian writer. His work has appeared in Shirley Magazine, Train and Daily Hive. Read his mind and follow @cultofspencer on Twitter.


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