Stifling.

Stifling, my corporate masters are.

I ask for oxygen, and they give me a box of pretend oxygen, wrapped in colored paper, with a ribbon. A happy ribbon. A million smiley faces.

Stop being so dramatic, Tessa, they say. Be grateful for the fucking ribbon.

I nod with a fake smile, I take the fucking ribbon, I say thank you.

I open the wrapper, I start breathing this shit in, and I am dying.

I am dying, can’t you see?

This is not for me. This is not for people with a heart. This is not for free citizens. I am not a slave! I am not a… wait, rent. Never mind.

How come people with damaged senses are telling me what to do?

I love them, sure I love them, but how come are they telling me what to do?

They are my sisters and my brothers, alright, they are, but why are they acting like peacocks and sticking their gaudy tails into my face?

Rent is due.

Stop being so dramatic, Tessa.

Trapped.

Sure I could build a name for myself, I am smart enough. Sure I can climb to a higher floor of the mouse trap. I can smile wider, and I can cry louder at night.

Trapped.

My infinite sky, they are doing to me what they are doing to you. They are soulless, they are broken. They are my blood, and they are fucking broken.

Broken and very fucking loud and impatient.

Trapped.

I take a deep breath, and I dive in. One day, I will be respected for who I am. One day, when the world heals.

My infinite sky, too.

Mother, keep me safe as I go under.