how to be happy

today i found a water stained book

entitled “how to be happy”

the first page told me how to catch bees

so i broke myself open

used my fingernails to claw out the rot

replaced it with honey and sugar

but the book didn’t have a chapter

on how to cure bee stings

 

i read and read and read

and reached the final chapter

“how to be a home”

but i needed no instructions

my rib cage already empty

a vacant apartment

my skin now mountainous

a landscape of welts

 

it was not a book that taught me

that my body was not made to be a home

i learned that to love and be loved

i must be alone and love that and my rot

then perhaps happiness would love me

these were the instructions i found

on the back of the bee repellent

i bought the next day

 

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