hold this in your hand - Julia Vance

immersed in layers of dark, we all suffer from dripping hearts


umber blood likened to emotion—or the lack of it. colors fade with dimming light

even scarlet turns pallid.


we take pride in the individually decorated communal aegis

praising those who force smiles and compartmentalize.

don’t show your face. don’t make a sound. don’t use your



are you searching for something,

anything resembling natural connection and honest affection?


i don’t know.


in the end, our halls are muddled and the ceilings leak, reminding us

perfect won’t ever subsist

an aegis will shatter


our bodies are fragile.