i fear that i am wasting the happiest years of my life
on fungal emotions: hyphae that start deep within my alveoli
and slowly thread themselves up through capillaries,
migrating towards my heart.
i feel them in the way my breath hitches
when i take the stairs to third period biology -
a physical manifestation of the fact
that i spend all day crunched up on my bed
manufacturing reasons for people to hate me.
i smell them in the smoke i could have sworn
was creeping in through the open window; it turns out
it is just my lungs on fire.
and before i can neglect to feed the hyphae
the receding bits of my sense-of-self,
they dig their way into my nerves. they make me shiver
with synthetic hypothermia while i force myself
to sit through a meeting in a room full of strangers.
even when i am safe under my sheets,
the mycelium does not desert me.
it grows around my left ventricle,
squeezing so tight that finally my heart spasms
forward against my collarbone. it is racing some phantom
fear that creeps up my spinal cord in the bluelight of my phone.
soon a lone hypha will break through my skin,
leading the charge, until they all explode out of me
so that i look nothing more than a pincushion.
i think it has already started, in the way dandruff
flakes off my hairline. i am disintegrating as dead things do
under a fungus's touch, from the inside out.
i will not pretend it is not preoccupying to know
i am wasting the best years of my life on decomposition.