The Thing

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The dog, because of what grows on the inside. The radio, because to be broadcast from here is an admittance of our failure to heal. Friend one, because we don’t know what’s under the skin. Friend two, because helicopters from strange places are unwanted on the ice in front of the complex. Friend three, because mind-sinews lack visual proof, lack trust. There are more–we will be safe if we kill those we don’t want to kill. Here we are surrounded by mountains, domed sky, cold spaces to curl up in and forget that this friend is not who he says he is. The more rooms there are, the more we load ourselves to the hilt, pull stacks of guns from cupboards, use scalpels to discuss the foreign, panic, because we know we are alone without love. but we are not alone and that is the problem. The obelisk is a mutant. It is repulsive like the word, “mutant,” when we say it out loud as if Friend four is not Friend four, but a host devouring men. The mutation occurs on the inside. I’ve felt a stir, how it shrinks one to another like the dog or the foreigner. We are alone. I do not want to become a foreigner. It would take too long to convince you of who I am, you who I write this to, you who I used to pull close when the snow-wind fell horizontal like knife to chin. I have a knife in my coat held close to my heart and I will keep it for Friend five, because Friend five is not you. You are not now in the corner clawing the wall to shred my skin from my face. This cannot be you. I’m sorry. I can no longer wait for a reply.

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