Stone Telling

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Outside-in / Catalytic Exteriorization

by Bogi Takács

A lack of sleep lowers the incident threshold;
the mechanism is similar to epilepsy
except the reaction happens outside the skull.
I stagger through a nighttime landscape
of power lines while the light of the full moon
scatters, flickers in pools of groggy dark water
and the grid hums inside my chest cavity;
whenever I turn my head the world lags
behind, my mental representations refreshing
all too slowly, betraying my exhaustion;
and I draw a breath knowing it is close,

the moment

when the catalytic exteriorization process
runs its course over the smooth, tidy pathways
of the neuraxis; my breath hisses in unison
with the heat coming off my diaphragm
and as my limbs tremble ever so slightly,
something inside layers of warm flesh uncoils
to whip across the sky like lashes of lightning
and pain; something whispers a magic spell
to the universe, asking it to bend to the will
that still remains hidden, curled up inside
the patterns of synaptic potential but still
unknown to the acting consciousness,

to me,

and what happens is always unexpected,
always personal, secret and terrifying;
cold and heavy upon my lungs, constricting
my actions, hastening my footsteps
until I break into a run and tears start
to flow with a measured, customary
trickle — and I clench my fists, less in
anger than in a violent, shuddering release
that knocks down walls of memory and
preconception, sends the wind hurtling
to the sky, clashing against the clouds,

calls me by my name,

unravels the world.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish author, a psycholinguist and a popular-science journalist. E writes speculative poetry, fiction and pieces that defy categorization. Eir works have been published or are forthcoming in venues like Strange Horizons, Apex, Through the Gate, GigaNotoSaurus and more.