dark scribblings

I’m afraid of the dark. Surely I’ve told you this. In the city really this doesn’t matter so much, the constant illumination of even the smallest streets and most insignificant buildings brightens the dark enough that it isn’t dark any more. But at home, in the little town where the mountains meet the sea, where there are forty miles of roads and one hundred thirty miles of hiking trails, the dark looms around lamppost corners, in arched doorways, under decrepit metals staircases, ready to slither and seep into all my open wounds, those unsealed places in me that still welcome the dark, still wish for the solitude out there in the black.

Maybe it’s because my name never had a home, a culture, a story in which to rest, that I seek out narratives like I seek black-inked fine-tipped pens: compulsively. Maybe my dark places just need their own language in which to confess the simmer and scratch of nibs on parchment, on velum, on cotton, on wood.

This is how my body sought to become paper, this is how blades sought to become pens. There is no canvas greater than the back. No skin or hide or substance that seeks pigment, marking, branding, scarring like the epidermis, layered, regenerating so often one must lay the ink deep for it to stick.

Like the dark, the ink runs deep in me. The doom of the millennium is nothing compared to what lies within, those secrets of shame and pain and homelessness we all refuse to share, or even see.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

One thought on “dark scribblings”

  1. Tiara says:

    You’ll always have a home here…I hate to be cliche, but home is where the heart is, and your heart will always, always know the sea and the mountains as they were, as they are, as they will be.

    Never forget.

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