You do not know that you have let a vulture into your home. Sometimes I wait just outside the door to your room, sometimes at the foot of your bed, or at the end of a phone call with angry crackling interrupting your retelling of your latest private tragedy. I can only thrive as long as you are dissolving into a pool of your former self, as long as I can dance to the sound of air scratching the inside of your throat as you attempt to pull in your last breaths. I may help you to endure the worst moments of your pain while you’re awake. At night, I slide past the door you should have locked and use my nails to undo the rough stitches on your wounds, making sure not to scratch your ruined flesh. In the morning you will ease out of bed, one sore limb at a time, carrying the parts of you that hurt and laying them on my lap. You do not know that each bandage I use to cover you is laced with the sting of my resentment and that your healing will never come. You think your body is turning on itself, refusing to return to health, but I am actually massaging disease deeper into you each time you think– this will be the last time. I understand that this dying can be a painstaking process, but my patience slightly exceeds my thirst for blood. So, I will wait.

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