The Patient Decides She Wants to Live 

Avery M. Guess


But no one explains what to expect. How to court life. She’s spent too many years chasing death. Knows too much about endings. How trees make appealing targets. Their solid stillness. Death as a comfort food. As security blanket. The ultimate protection. Without that cloak she’s exposed. Raw. Her nerves scorch and flare like the sunburn she got that time at the beach reading a fantasy book for hours without moving in a sand chair. The nausea and dizziness that followed. The pain. How five weeks later a classmate asked if she was wearing red tights. She thinks living will be like hugging barbed wire. First the steel bite and surge of blood. Then the scab.