Don’t give me the world; I want the whole universe


Saniya Mishra

The wide expanse of water and sky reveals yet more light beyond.

Could I not merely drink up the sky as it burns into a dusty amber?

A sure luminous expanse remains. Nothing to be seen beyond all that I have taken. Perhaps I had consumed far more than the stability of nature would permit.

That soft orange sank deeply within me and burned endlessly a fiery hole through which I seem to fall again and again. The fire dances, a blazing flame that sways with the changing wind of my scattered thoughts.

Could I not have merely drank the sky as it burned into a dusty amber? Or, what if I had not yet consumed enough?

So, I breathe in the sea, too, choking terribly on the drying waterbeds. The reefs leech against my insides and drown my lungs as they burn with ferocity.

There it happens, within me, a violent blaze and just as eager waves all crashing upon each other in a sickening paradox. 

Could I not merely drink up the sky and breathe in the sea as I chose? Would it not be too much to plead for?

I vomit the twisting stretch of bold duality. A dark, turning substance blankets the blinding sheet of light, but does not quite fill what it once had. Pin-point-sized pockets permit dots to shine back upon me. 

I am exposed in the meager light, a bit of darkness still within me. 

Could I not still soak in more, the light beyond and perhaps even the dark beyond that and the light beyond that?

It lines my desperate lungs, my starving heart, my voracious appetite. Could I not merely drink up what is left of the once beautiful sky and breathe in the empty seas? Could I not still soak in more, the light beyond and perhaps even the dark beyond that and the light beyond that? 

The dark, cruel acid devouring me tells me, Yes, yes, you could.

And so it goes, corroding away at my mind, dueling with every passing thought in attempts to master control of me entirely, each succession more difficult to defend than the previous. 

No, I could not, I tell it. There is a stability to maintain, one that I know I must correct. 

I fill the holes with the remaining darkness inside of me, weeping until the dry bowls of the earth fill once more.

I watch, patiently, as the one opening I left above me in the dark expanse widens, rushing a tranquil warmth across the world, lightening the surroundings, with a soft sort of brightness the aforementioned fire could never match. 

Yet, could I merely sit and watch, resist the temptations of the sky and sea, and passively partake in not taking?