Boss Battle: The One With the Long Neck
Brian Oliu

When I arrived, the music changed -- you, queen of what remains, you in a room too small for your body. Your neck is something I am unfamiliar with -- the back of it invisible, the front of it, delicate: the graze of a finger causes the chin to tilt downward, a trap, always a trap. Your face, a mask -- smooth as the day you were born and as hard as the stone on the ring that I am wearing, the ring that allows me to pretend that this does not hurt as much as it once did; that the bruises that form fade to yellow faster, that this is what I should have been wearing since the beginning -- trading the green of my youth for something that reminds you of an announcement, a declaration of danger.
You, larger than the room you have been sleeping in. You, despite this, will not push me against the wall, will not press your head into my chest, will not listen to what I am saying; that you must disappear, that the only thing that must remain is the room that we have built here: red brick, red paper, red fabric on the floor. I take my knife and start cutting -- your neck breaking in sections and vanishing, tendons unraveling like our time away from this room, your neck growing shorter by the second. Your face shrinks back towards your shoulders, shoulders I remember but cannot place. You, of the neck. You, of no neck, neckless: head on body like a badly drawn picture, like something I once drew. This is where you disappear. This is where the door opens. This is all that I have wanted.