This semi-permeable membrane. This. Removal of molecules too big to choke down. Break down, sift through. Crystalline rocks. This. Ion molecule me. Purify any way you can. Water bleached too clean. Apply the pressure, boil it down. Try and catch the steam. What is left, pure as the thing they tried to reduce you to. Yet you are left dry. Spine like a cobweb, layers and layers of sinews crackling, flaky. Fine fuzzy threads, too dehydrated to move. Stiff and tough as jerky. Body takes the fall for what was pressed into you, what was left out. What’s caught in the filter; sand, grit, soul. Secret one, this feels like a lie. Secret two, three, four. I’m not sure what is real. Pry bloodstream open like a pinch waking you from a dream. When I get up in the morning, I could have sworn a monster with pointed nails was scratch scratching me open. My sister’s bleeding pinches, blood crowding in the pores. The glass jug beside my bed reflects more of the world outside than my window does, only upside down. I drink from it. Secret five, six, seven. Lying on the couch, under the tent we made out of a fitted sheet. She on the “top bunk,” the back of the couch. Me down below. She falls onto me, grinds her hips against mine. Scraping, begging. Secret heavy over our heads until we are too old. Eight, nine, ten. Red brother, brother sky. Face bright as the sun, suspended. Feet off ground chin lifted by sunset bed, streaked soft and purple blue as a child’s dream. Purple blue as his face is turning. I scream. Brother back from close to the sun, state so bright white and wide. Hides in dark attic for weeks at a time, feeds mice to snakes. He tells me about the first time, with a bottle of pills when he was eight years old. Big brother eight years my senior. This won’t sift through. Stuck in the filter of me, I smoke ’til my mouth is dry.