Image Source: Qian Ting Zhang

Qian Ting Zhang
Procrastinator Editor

Crying, from two holes in my wooden mask,
The mud escapes. It stretches and dries out
Into antlers. I am a captive moose
Leg crushed by a bear trap in my own room.

My nails drumming to a tribal rhythm
On my work desk, my hooves resonating
On the keypad. Stomping my foot along
The wailing — My herd is leaving without me.

I slam myself against the window bars,
Even as an impostor, a puppet,
A sick wooden moose with no strings attached
I want to gallop with my broken legs.

What can I do? Hooked to an IV drip,
Trying to drown the fire burning me.
Sizzling on the ashes, voraciously
Devouring my bark — Starving, craving flame.

Sick on caffeine, lying in bed, working,
The pouring downfall of dark espresso
Leaking through the cracks, trickling down branches
Yet, the fire keeps burning and burning.

Ceremonial smoke escaping my maw.
The smell of coals scorch my nostrils as I
Breathe, finally. Choking on my last gasps,
I was dragged upwards along dusty clouds.

Looking back down at the empty puppet
The wooden moose rotting away in front
Of a blurry computer screen. I laugh
Since I will transcend for a little while.

I snapped the antlers growing in my eyes
And shoved them, still bloody, into my skull
A red crown for a delusional god,
A pyromaniac out of prison.

I chuckled as the bear trap was burning,
I giggled as my IV drip melted.
I was still laughing as I set the herd
Of terrified, whimpering moose on fire.

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