The air is too dense.
I’m not tense, per se,
But let’s say that my limbs
Are sticking to this too-dense air;
Where I was once lithe and spry,
Now my eyelids droop
And my arms hang
In hunger’s perpetual pangs.

No – it’s not my appetite.
I eat. I walk. I sing sometimes.
It’s not the outside that binds
My insides.
It’s me: I just don’t care;
I don’t care at all.
The underwhelming weight
Of the gray sky does grate.

I wish I believed in God;
I wish I made a habit
Of being a rabid dogmastist.
I wish my fears were made clear:
My idle thoughts supplanted
With idols.
I wish I had a Christ to distract
From this abstract malaise.

Instead my jittery eyes
Flitter and flutter
And I mutter hollow
Borrowed words into
Reverberating tunnels.
Fissure’s appear in my skull,
Dull from the negative pressure
Settling on the nape of my neck.

Pain would be better.
Unfettered, pure, searing pain.
A letter opener, red with rust,
Thrust deep into a throbbing vein.
Would be better.
I could lie slain, robbed of breath,
Gasping, gagging, dying, but at least
Flagging a feast of feeling.

I’m cowering from the flowering
Crimson inside this overpowering
Need to feed on my own mortality.
I don’t want to die:
To be a statistical fatality
Sadisitically printed
In a nameless, fameless,

Maybe a hobby is what I need:
To feed and possess myself
With an obsession.
To lobby my brain,
To compel it to care
About obscure vinyl LP’s,
To be a collector, lest Death
Come and collect me.

Yes: that’s the ticket.
I’ll part the thickets,
And bound into the meadow
With the others.
I’ll ignore the dark stranger
In the foyer whose danger
Looms and races through the rooms
Of my house.

His bass booms and shakes me
But I’ll plug my ears,
Spout dumb, inane words, a white noise —
“Pirates, ninjas, highballs of gin”
— To drown the bass in its din.
I’ll call this poise.
I’ll straighten my back
And take up my life’s slack.

I wonder when I’ll crack.


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