On shoulder blades

I keep licking wounds that should have closed by now. I keep wondering about questions I’ve had the answer to for months. I doubt certainties about people who I refuse to let go of. I hate endings, except when I don’t. I think Schrödinger had the right idea. We are all both dead and alive at all times. We struggle to define our level of vitality based on the breaths we take and the ones we refuse to let out.

A demon is sitting on each of my shoulders. One inhales lies and the other exhales truths. How do I tell them apart? I can’t address them directly, I can only listen. They speak of the past and the present and they take turns. Their long black fingernails scratch my neck. They like to tap, tap, tap on my collarbone every time I try to fool them. They know me by now, but I have yet to recognize them.

Their names; I’m looking for their names. 

How else will I know what they really want? Their voices are circular. Once you’ve heard them it’s like you never did. They rely on existential invisibility. Their gargoyle-like reflection hides what they really look like. It obscures their beauty and deforms their wings. Sometimes they rest on my shoulder blades, and for a moment I can imagine what it would feel like to have a pair. My skin crawls as if I’m depriving my skeleton of such a feat in human anatomy. 

I wait. I listen. I hear how they rub their hands together when they think I’ve won. The traps are laid so carefully; they are considerate of my emotional disinclinations. I am touched. When I sleep, they play with my hair, but in the morning they are back around my neck.

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