I was born underground. Every day I dig up to street level and pretend I’m not filthy. Most people don’t look or do but don’t see. It’s fine, I tell the curious few, and pluck at my skin like an orchestral string. I can witness safely for a while but over time I will always ferment. What present sweetness I carry turns sickly and certainly heralds some odorous signal of abandon. A thing the lizard brain knows. Isolation is a protectorate and I often carry some with me. Though it bears a fascistic weight, it never fails to comfort.