her footfall faster than the cricket chirps, mating birds, her muscles pleading with the air to split ahead, to offer no resistance.
she tears through the forest, making a wound of herself, brushing blood against the trees to mark a path for beasts bent on survival.
they all hunger.
the shade refracts through the leaves into her panting mouth, down into her heart, into the hole, into the missing piece, drilling, burning, a cool emptiness, a cool cool cold that bubbles back into her mind, an obsession.
a break in the treeline.
a damning drive, a void that drains, in the depths of the untouched woods, isn't there a death like life? the fungus curling back from her vitality, isn't it like her?
the rushing wind falls short. the clearing ahead, the clarity of thought, the tinny ringing in her ears droning out her own breath.
a deep pool.
a slick of algae and smaller creatures, squirming along the surface. her ghost calls to her from the dark.
milky white, rose gold, iridescent, innocent, through the swirling waters shines a pearl, calls a treasure half-forgotten aside from the snarling instinct which operated her body, propelled her limbs into the frenzy that brought her to this edge.
if air can suffocate like water, what suffocates like mud?
what else presses deep onto her skin, sealing in the sweat, glueing her bones together, crawling in space, a diseased alien praying she can coast home?
bodies have more fuel than we can burn through alive.
submerged reactor core, the slime defusing her mechanics, containing all it can of her. but earth created it's own demise, and she destroys it inch by inch, eking downwards, fingers grasping at silt, weeds bounding her eyes, blind knowing.
her hand claims herself.