bog bodies

CW: BODY HORROR, DEATH, VIOLENCE

we rise from the bog, skin wet and squelching.

glistening in the thick, damp sunlight. the word

around town is that we were lucky to escape.

our hands have dried to crisps, brown

and curling like dead ferns, and we smell like rotting

things. our bodies soft stacks of gassed rabbits, eyes

brown apples. when a rescue party is sent out across

the marsh for those who didn't escape, we join it.

perhaps because we are kind, but almost certainly

because we are sick in a way no one else understands.

///

THERE ARE NO SURVIVORS. words of bone,

spat out of a bitter, gummy dark. grass yields

beneath our bruised knees. it is all too easy to stay

here. our skin turns to mould.

One fat bog.

19 dead. / 19 nights of survivor's guilt.

19 weeks—

19 months—

19 years.

we pull the bodies from the bog. some are leather. boneless.

liquid men and women. pickled, preserved— drownedi

n a womb of vinegar, birthed in a clamour of screaming

and tight-knit prayers. God's name spooling from pink

lips; eyes worn red. the worst are those who were drowned

when the weather was warm, when the air clung and the

wasps hovered before the apples of our eyes:

skin falls tender from the bone.

even the insects don't want them.