Talking about the feeling that your brain
is trying to implode and explode at the same time.
crashing in on itself,
all the distorted pictures and sound bites
and flashes of all those faces, on jagged
repeat. There are spiders, large, twitching
spiders outside my window
pretending to be my fingers.
Their webs are wavering in the wind and
I’m wondering how long it will take for it to feel
like they’re not crawling on my skin, softly,
in a way that no scratch can appease.
I’m biking on the very edge of the curb
fenced in by street signs
and my tires are wobbling in the way
that tells me that skull impact is imminent.
Stop ******* laughing at my helmet when you
can’t even tell me what it feels like when gravity
shakes up your brain between the sky
and the cement floor.
You have no understanding of not recognizing your own thoughts.
You can’t imagine what a hostile body feels like from the inside. You haven’t a clue what traumatic brain injury feels like,
all the worst parts.
Now my whole body is wavering and I see the dark gray, slippery rear end of your car that is not your car.
I am haunted,
paralyzed by the model and make of your vehicle
in the same way that I have been by all the others.
I don’t know why it’s always the cars for me,
but even a glimpse of the possibility catches in my throat and I’m coughing, choking, frantic
on the side of the road again.
It’s the impact of the car but somehow
worse, because you can’t see these wounds except for
how damp the pillow is when I wake up in the middle of the night, nauseous and sobbing.
Maybe it was a dream.
Maybe I’m the dream.
Maybe I am just one long, tempestuous nightmare.
I can’t stop thinking about all the people I’ve run away from,
deeply ashamed of the desperate, wild measures I've used
to savor even a moment of validation.
Unable to face the need I teased out of their mouths.
Only brave enough to start the fire,
rubbing sticks together shamelessly,
but not strong enough to put it out
before the forest burns down.
written june, 2016. reformatted april, 2018.