Alana I. Capria (b. 1985) lives in Northern New Jersey with rabbits, and a fiance. Her chapbooks, and links to other publications, can be found at her website.
[There is only enough room for me.] [You will have to sit elsewhere.] [This room isn’t connected to anything.] [It hovers in its own space, distant from roots. It defies gravity. While I am inside, I defy logic. I hang out the window and float instead of drop.] [You knock on the door but I do not have to answer.] [There is no sound here. Nothing you or anyone else can identify.] I am alone. [I prefer this.] Once, you and I made love. It was a regular occurrence. We would reach for one another in the dark. Sometimes we would cry. It felt good but I thought I was being chained down. There was not enough for the two of us. You said I was wanted but I did not want to be. I wanted to be left alone for as long as you knew my name. [You did nothing wrong.] [Everything I hate about you is another thing I despise in myself.] [You were a good person. You are a good person. I should be left alone because I am neither. I am good at being alone. I am good at hiding in corners and crying. I need this solitary room so I can hide beneath a desk and cry until I sleep. You never liked the sound of my tears when you were beginning to snore. It was no one’s fault.] [I always wanted to bruise my pillow until the feathers spilled out.]
I thought it would be enough to love . But there was no space for you here. Not in my private room. [I thought I could arrange a couch so you could keep yourself against a wall. Then we could spend our lives together. But I was wrong. I didn’t know what I was thinking. The couch would not fit through the door. I could have cut the frame open with a saw but didn’t want to damage anything. I didn’t want to breathe in sawdust just because you felt compelled to stay close to me. I didn’t need you that much.] I think you do not understand me. [We are people, you say. We must be surrounded by others. We can’t spend our lives in a single room. You have to be willing to talk and be surrounded.] [But I am surrounded. I am surrounded by walls. I can talk to them if I choose to. They are not very verbose, though. Sometimes, they nod or shake their corners. But usually, they are quiet. I speak and they listen. The walls and I are fine with their arrangement. I keep them company and they keep me safe. They enjoy the sound of a human voice.] [I love you, you say. Why do you want to leave?] [Because I am better alone. Because a room cannot disappoint me. Because there are little spider-legged things bumping around within me and I do not want you near when they escape. They are hungry and will eat everything. You, me. I would rather they eat me quickly and spare your bones. Their bites are painful. But I am not afraid of fangs. I will laugh as they gnaw. I will show them your picture and taunt them because they cannot eat any bit of you.]
Let us be metaphysical. There is no room. There is nothing but a couch floating in midair. But what does that mean? The silver coil no longer anchors me. [You come at me with a pair of scissors. You try to sever my subconscious from my anatomical self.] I kiss you and slide into the asbestos-filled corners. You cannot reach me there. Your lungs cannot handle the threat of plastique insulation. So I stuff myself into crawlspaces that run along the sides of the room. I do not mind the walls pressing in against me. The plaster tastes good in my mouth. [I chew it and the concrete crunches. You stick your hands into my mouth and I bite them off at the wrists. You do not taste as good as the raw materials.] I wear the fiberglass. I smear it over my skin. I plait it into my hair. I shove it into every body cavity. You try to touch me and your limbs swell to three times their original size. I drift into the air and spread my torso across the ceiling.
This room has a skeleton. The desk is the brain. It charges the walls. They emit a bright blue light and move in circles. I sit at the top of the spinal column. I am just one of many vertebrae. But I am not. I am the master of the bones. And you are a mound of fecal matter. [Get out of my room so the bones and I can rejoice.] But you do not leave. You plant yourself on the doorway and cling. You are calcium and marrow. You are. [You are a fungus. You are a blue-green thing that births dust spores.] I am allergic to you. When you touch me, I sneeze. Then the bones fall. They land on the floor, askew. Some pile up in the wrong directions. I swallow the bones down. [You do not understand how much I need the bones. They give me structure. They keep my head from hurting.] The room rotates on the shoulder blades and the arms open up to reveal sacred windows. I stick my head through the entrance and let the glass panes fall shut on me. I have a severed head. But you cannot have it. All the broken things are mine alone. I fail at sharing despite loving you. [If you became a single femur, I might love you better. I might even be able to give you the chair beside me. But becoming a bone would remove your face and body. You would simply sit.] It wouldn’t do you any good. I promise you that. Because while you want to share in my space, you only want it at the expense of experiencing it. You won’t be content just existing there in some form. [I would store you in a drawer and lock the entire desk. You would thump around, begging to come out. But I wouldn’t let you. Just as I won’t let you sit in the room now.]