I stare at you from ten million light years and ten feet away. One. The soundwaves ring out; it inhabits your room and our hippocampi. Two. There’s a tick in your leg, your eyelids circle. My tongue, too heavy for my too-big mouth. Three. It starts to sink in like mustard in our picnic blanket sixteen moments ago. Four. Your mouth makes a cracked, harmful sound. Five. I stagger backward. Six. Too many seconds. It’s sick and ruined.
Kaia Boyer (they/she/he, Twitter @kaiaiswriting) is a Chinese-American author born and raised in California, and currently revising their second novel.