Self-Care for Villains

Self-Care for Villains – Tamara Jerée

You can only smell like perfumed ash and loneliness
for so long. Remember you had angels once. You used
to wear these beads when you were visited by creeping
anhedonia: snowflake
obsidian hollowed for your hair, strung by your mother’s
cold hands. Revisit
the plum oak. Revise the vase of flowers so
you remember walking
the frozen lake barefoot and skyless. Only freezing persons
collect the snow.

Consider the plate of feathers in the afterlife,
how they are slick yet fuzzed, how they will rest
weightless on your tongue: that is what care feels like.
Consider the red plant and how it knows
red like blood
knows red like sap knows protection: that
is what care

You wonder if you have done the darkness
an injustice. You wonder
if it was right to indulge
small badness. You wonder if you should have helped that raven see
the sun. All the bones in the yard
will not bring you happiness. For yourself: learn to accept sleepform.
For yourself: know
that you are all of your temples.

Tamara Jerée is an editor for Luna Station Quarterly and a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Their work appears or is forthcoming in Strange HorizonsFIYAHUncanny, and other magazines. You can find them on Twitter (@TamaraJeree) or visit their website