Shells

            I have a recurring dream. It is one where I am a fugitive of some sort, fleeing from people who want to steal my organs and my feet and my hands. They have not succeeded in any of their endeavors, but I wake up in a cold sweat that doesn’t go away until I struggle to my mirror and convincingly reinforce the idea that I exist the way I am. Then, I make my way to criticism class where we talk about mirroring and latent thought and manifest thought and the entire time, I feel like a shriveled raisin, separate and inside a flesh shell. It’s kind of like a matryoshka-shaped car. Class ends. I go fuel my vehicle, and seek refuge in my room, away from prying glances and judging eyes, and I fall asleep once again. I have a recurring dream. I am a fugitive, fleeing from organ harvesters and I look in the mirror at my own body because I do not recognize it at all. The mirror cracks in front of me to reveal another mirror; my body cracks in the mirror to reveal another body that cracks and another body that cracks and another body that cracks and another body that cracks. The organ harvesters emerge from the shadows and steal my feet from my infinite shells and they start eating them. Sustenance. We need sustenance. Stretching out my hands, I gather the shells closest to me, and start running once again. This time, I disintegrate into the wind until I am a soul once again, staring into primordial stardust.

            I wake up in a cold sweat. I avoid the mirror because my feet are there.

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ALEXIS HENG

is a junior at the University at Buffalo majoring in English and Classics. When she is not suffering through her mandatory readings, she likes to occupy her free time with music production, drawing, naps, and nature.