Cotard’s syndrome

late summer sun no longer paints  
her slender, sloping shoulders. it has been replaced  
with a fluorescent bulb. the flowers,  
too, are plastic cloth in plastic grass. coffee is  
mostly tap water. music is the same as  
coughing. sleep is a  
drug, an opiate with withdrawal  
symptoms. would one addiction should  
kill the other. survival is something  
to pass the time. time is viscous  
sour honey filled with flies. she is  
caught in the amber, half-alive.  
to live and yet have died already  
is the strangest kind of hell, dull,  
fuzzy in all its edges.  
all jokes are famous tragedies  
in drag. even corpses wear makeup,  
make-believing themselves alive. 

by Anna Winham

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