Caterpillar Rash

Another Rash, looks almost the same.

Opheila Jones,

I felt very lost, very swallowed, I haven't quite been able to do much of anything this week. Except for a lot of thinking and a lot of walking. I've been thinking about context, I'm thinking it just might be another word for oversharing. A lot of times I sit down to write and end up talking to myself saying the same thing back and forth, the last time I sent this with all of you I cut out this exchange. I thought the context kind of obscure the point, but now that my rash has come back and back again, I think it makes sense to say that the last time I broke out in a rash, wasn't the first time, at least not that I can remember.

"Oh, not you."
"Fine toy rabbit for sale, mam.'"
"Not today"
"C'mon, wonderous silk tied strings, it's just a marionette"
"Please I'm trying to journal right now, getting far in somewhere."
"You can't pretend you don't see it, that fine craftsmanship. Cute like a taxidermied rat."
"You're too close, did you eat that dead mouse, cause your breath, it stinks."
"It's a one-of-a-kind, just look at it for a moment and tell me you mustn't have it."
"Dude, I'd like to stay left alones, make like a bunny and bounce. Go bother anyone else."
"Nailed on arms that flake and dance, hand painted paws and kind far eyes"

My arm has broken out in a rash. I don't think it's a normal rash, or not like one I've had before. I feel a mangle of caterpillars beneath the red mark, squirming and sulking like they're hunting for something stuck beneath my chest.

"{Inhalation} ... {Exhalation}" "Hand knit bank robber ski mask made from a glove, with holes for perked ears."
"No...I said no, thank you."
"A fine piece you can't deny,”
"Please step back, your breath, really, man."
"with a fine price, even you can't deny."
"No front, please, you're making me anxious."

Fleshy beats with samples of gasping blood vessels, all laced with hints of caterpillars hurtling, churning over each other in fingerpaint-like crescent streaks. At odd arhythmic times their movement stops and in their absence I almost hear whispers secreting up through the pores in my skin. So many small movements now take the place of running thoughts. Writhing, blissful caterpillars wash over the space where once was a consuming blue that made my vision bleed.

"Imagine it on your wall, mantle or in any number of shadelily adopted kids' arms. "I can't right now, not now."
"It's not just a doll, and so cheap too."
"Just leave me alone."
"Look at it, it found, you! You can't ignore it."
"I'm flailing inside. God, my guts feel like they're folded origami, so thin they cut where they touch."

Caterpillars with stray hypodermic hairs flourishing in growing numbers taking turns to reach up and rub against the underside of my skin, their touches almost drift into a melody, but just before I could place the song one will disrupt it with another flick of their hairs. I try my hardest not to imagine what it’d feel like just to carve in to my arm to greet them.

"Its button nose isn't but a nose, it's a... button too."
"Why don't you skirt dust up, please."
"You know it's yours, with that fluffy tail it won't be missed."
"But, I don't want it."
"It's not your choice."
"I've blurred, with fluttered, numbed lungs."
"It's yours, you just have to pay for it."
"I don't have money, we never have money."
"Then take it no charge, you'll love it."
"I guess its fur might feel nice."
“Oh, the softest, soft as a...
"Dead mouse?"

Beneath my skin are waves of hundreds of caterpillars interweaving like quilts or aerosol paint strokes on tagged and crumbling walls. Foaming out from any orifice near, swells of caterpillars building and expanding in circular chuckles and breaths, like the anxious movement of lungs. Cutting through the numbness, my rib cage melts into a pool of runny clay clotted with even more caterpillars, and opens in the shape of something cusping, softly fluttering, and moving upward in still purple swells.

“Yes, see you got it, now you just need to get it, got it? "Hmm" "Such fine whittling too, delicate work if the knife slipped it'd... gut it. Get it."
"I get it"
"You always did."
"Can I get it please."
"Of course, you just need to hold it."
"It even looks a little like me."
"Yes, see that queer, too cute face, truly a rabbit cut above."
"It's fitting"
"Truly a coyly carved rabbit fit for a; fit like yours."

And then I'm smiling with my face upside down buried in runny clay hands. Caterpillars singing through the mud and what's left of fingerbones, I swallow them as they enter my mouth. In me, and in the absence of any gusts of wind, the little blue ghostlings fold in deeply upon themselves. It's like I am young, raised by caterpillars, alone in the woods, not quite dreaming, simply squirming through dirt.

For more articles by Opheila Jones, click here. To get in touch with this writer, email


See Also

Want to read more news? Click here for a random article.