When I speak to you in dreams, it is like seeing when my eyes are closed. Sparks in the blackness, an imagined eye gazing back at me; thought-dilated pupils. This kind of speaking is an inverse—I see words sucked in with oxygen through lips, the red-cave interior of a mouth flush with blood and letters. There is only inhalation. Nowhere to breathe out; sentences jostling cells crowding nerves flowing to and from the heart. They told me once in hospital that an old wives’ cure for a ganglion cyst was to hit it with a Bible. I look at mine through transparent lids, obtrusive on the hand that writes to you, and think that a dictionary would be best—expel the sticky mass of language that has been building; a syntactical coagulation.
An excess of linguistic humours; the bile of unanswered missives.
Galen: I was called in to see a woman who was stated to be sleepless at night
… But she either answered little or nothing at all, as if to show it was useless to question her.
Poring over medieval engravings and woodcuts of dissections: if there is a cure, it will be to lay my body out and open me—detach each string and mass of words from where it has wrapped around veins, crept into the spaces between organs; hold them aloft and read.