She is frightened of the bunnies
although they only exist on the page.
I am more ambivalent,
vacillating between the urge to
wedge myself inside the book,
pressing down until I am preserved within it like a flower,
or tear out its sheets one by one, roll them up and smoke them.
She said she felt ill, unsettled.
I had to laugh—it’s only a rabbit.
Then again, Leporidae are not known for restraint
so perhaps she is right to be cautious,
lest we suffocate beneath an avalanche of tiny, furred bodies.
More likely the anxiety stems from prose that hits close to home.
A single papercut can sting,
but turn a thousand pages and
it slices to the bone.
We debate meaning, spiralling into semantics,
ask what it is to be substantial.
Existence is messy,
too violent, sensual, indelicate.
I attempt elucidation,
yet the text resists containment within a warm bunny body.
To truly inhabit the other
you must harvest their eyeballs and cram them into your own sockets.
Skin them like a rabbit and wear their pelt.
This is the only way to ensure clarity.
Anything less is performance—I say as much.
I say too much.
We remain silent for a time.
They only exist on the page.