My blood stung like sea salt.
I tried to drink it,
To find the beauty without.
My ribs are hidden now
Buried under layers of pliable lipids
Stretching like dry plasticine
Expanding like ice in a pop can
Leaving tiger stripes along my thighs and hips.
I try to burn it away
Like Abel’s sacrifice
But all I have done
Is consumed my own loneliness
And accepted a reality I do not support.
My flesh ebbs and flows like the tide.
My body, blue and black like the ocean.
I try to sharpen my edges,
I try to whittle away my bark.
My bones, the rocks lining the shore.
I pick them out one by one
And lay them across my dresser,
Marrow dry and sweet.
My soft plush skin, the ever-yielding sand.
I collect it in jars and display them in the window,
Dry and long since cooled.
I am driftwood.
I only answer to the mirror on the wall.
I make offerings to it each day.
I burn fat as Abel once did,
A sacrifice to the unforgiving.
My body, an effigy to beauty.
My body, an example of failure.
I consume my own flesh
The fuel for the fire
My tongue has grown weary from disuse
And I can no longer taste anything else
But the sweet coppery notes
Of blood and sulphur.
Elka Scott (they, them; pseudonym) would like to say that they do their best writing in the glow of winter moonlight while drinking vintage wine. They actually do their best writing in the glow of a computer monitor while double fisting Dr. Pepper and vitamin water. Their writing is influenced by their life as a genderfluid bisexual person, as well as their experience of mental illness and trauma. Elka’s dream is to take this adversity and turn it into art that touches others. To that end they are studying to become an art therapist specializing in working with 2SLGBTQIAP+ youth and adults. Elka has been writing from a young age, and their first stories were mostly about cats. They write both fiction and poetry. They recently received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to complete a script for their first graphic novel. When they aren’t writing, Elka Scott enjoys watching horror movies with all the lights on and drinking tea in the summer. They have a few publications under their government name, as well as a blog.