if not for the sternum, he could reach his frenzied fingers to the space and pry it loose: wretch the bones like double-doors on hinges in the spine. “it” was something as yet undefined. some days he imagines it a fire; other days most certainly a dove. today he flexes somehow back and forth between the two, fingers itching restless at his chest.
it’s a wretched indecision, it’s a spasm in the gut. hands on the broken clock don’t turn, but the ticking sound continues, as time the unflagging oppressor presses onward, ever onward without pause.
he watches, as though shackled to a pendulum: all familiar hours flashing past him on repeat. the same discordant screeching of the same routine alarm. the same robotic actions setting all the same monotonous displays. the same doors opening-closing on the same familiar rooms. minutes pass to decades merging details of an unimportant life.
he watches, young and restless, still a fool enough to wear the discontent. in the furrow of his brow or the animal glint of trouble in his eye. so he chafes his bloody wrists against the chains.
if not for the sternum, he could reach his frenzied fingers to the space and pry it loose: free the pounding discord from the prison of his chest. (“discord” is the only definition he can find.) some days he imagines it a fire; other days most certainly a dove. so he sifts through every moment for the substance he pursues, never certain (though determined) it exists.