choking on your voice is like biting down on a solid block of ice. your hymns of “don’t worries” slather around my lips and for a moment i believe it’s honey. i reach for a napkin but your claws ensnared my fingers and i realized my tongue was coated in tar. it dripped down my chin and your grip tightened. my knuckles shrieked white and my body shrunk down into an unrecognizable form. you curled me into a ball and i continued to choke. i writher and shake and scream but your ice has frozen my joints and your tar has glued my chapped lips closed. i feign indifference but slowly i am dying in your calloused hands. an unfathomable bliss pulls you away for a moment and i manage to tumble out of your grasp. now, you tell me there was no ice and there was no tar, but when i look down i am cloaked in a robe of black and i cannot move. i’ve been trying to wash it off but it feels like every time i’m in the same room as you or my cracked eyes meet the daggers in your gaze or echoes of your taunting plays in my head, a little bit more of me becomes stuck and feeble in a way i’ve never felt before.