Autopsy of a Nightmare

Monet Sutch


I prayed
Get this nightmare out of me.

Eyes swirling in their orbits
Wandering under slick lids.

A doctor is sent.
With garden shears and a steady hand.

Cuts through my ribs like a dead briar bush
Swings them open like an rusty gate.

Puts his steady hand behind my lungs.
His fingers tracing my raw spine.

Pulls out an endless cord, unravelling.
But the origin is never found.

Dead butterflies and their silk ashes
Have made painted hills of my viscera.

My mouth drops into a cold scream
But only the hiss of hypnagogic paralysis empties.

My throat is choked with black paint.
Dripping heart-ward like soft tar.

Languid rain. The caustic smell of lead and lacquer
Glazing the cloven bone, the butterflies, the hand against my spine.

My mouth wide open, ribs agate.
Paint bubbling out the sides of my corpulent corpse flower mouth.

Slow and volcanic.
I can’t breathe, scream, or remember my mother’s name.

There is only black paint.
There is only black paint.



Monet Sutch is a 26 year old student living in Portland Oregon. Writing and literature have been sources of sanctuary and safety for Monet since they were a child. Their work focuses on family, identity, recollection of trauma through different lenses, the music of language, and using curiosity as a necessary tool to approach all things existential, ethereal, and human.