level 1

in this video game
i killed the witch by paring her
into four even pieces. her soul
was plastic anyway but 
i still feel bad about it. we escaped
through a necklace of crumpled
green backyards.
my heart was a yellow tire swing.
the knife, the murder weapon,
turned into a butterfly
& pulsed out of view.
i try to be generous with 
my violence. i take it down
to the dead leaves & run
like a loose fire. 
if i could remember how to pause
i would but instead i keep walking,
looking for a glitch 
to jitter me open. the witch 
was beautiful in a way 
witches shouldn't be--
no gnarled fingers, just
a little cottage full of lies.
i have her broom & i'm sweeping
a path in the pixel snow.
the mailbox has a clue inside.
a letter from the dead
rolled up in a scroll. it's written
in a language i don't understand
so i fold it up in the hopes
one day it'll talk to me.
if i don't text you back
it's because i'm trying
to win this level & my ribs
have gone digital. my teeth 
are mesh & sifting. the witch
oh i miss her so much with 
all her torture & her containments.
she wanted only to chain me
to a pole in the yard. oh how i could
have thrived out there 
with all my image. how i could have
been dismembered delicately
inside of all at once. it isn't 
a matter of when you're used
for spellwork but when.
the console is heated with delight.
i am proud of how far we've come
in this universe of electric crops.
for now i'm going to try
to reassemble the witch
with whatever water is left
in the landscape. then i will turn
the sun off for a rest 
& behind my eyelids the dead 
will chatter selfishly.

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