Bones pierce through my toughened but weary flesh
Barbwire nerves tighten them together like twine around a Thanksgiving swine
But this isn’t a celebration or a one-off spectacle
This is what breathing is like
This is living.
Warmth is welts, sweat and tears.
Forbidden sleep, I cry and beg for relief.
I find solace in a cold bath
And pray for cooler weather.
The cold is screaming bones, stiff and keeping me drowned in bed.
Forbidden to move, I cry and beg for mercy.
I find solace in fire
And pray for warmer weather.
In the calm waters that all swim in, I am battling a rip
I wave for help,
They wave back, happily, as if saying hello.
Keep treading water
Just keep going and good God, I think he’s still there
Watching me fight the urge to stop and drown, submerge myself and let it be.
All this time, I’ve been trying to get out of a bed, the bath, or my chair.
I have spared loved ones agony, friends have left.
There isn’t any fun watching a carcass decay on the side of the road
Magnesium is there for me now
Codeine and I catch up around once a week
I have dates with my shower
And a blanket that embraces me.
Get up now, enough of that
Put some pants on, it’s time to see Them.
Brush your hair, fight your fingers to tie it up.
Defy the grinding of your bones and walk out that door.
They will ask how you do you feel
What has happened since last week
Did you make it out your front door
Out of bed
How does that make you feel?
Did you go out last Saturday?
Did the torrent of anxiety swell up again
My problems are common
People your age don’t do this.
The bone-pierced meat is ripped again
Pulling away from my spine
Becoming tragic wings few can see.
The last coat is the one all see and notice and judge the most
Skin shrink-wrapped around my barbed-wire nerves and meaty flesh
Where touch is soft and electric
And scars are chapters of stories
Mine are charred onto my bones and tattooed onto my skin
It looks like others with soft hair, freckles and spots
Yet it has encased me in a tomb
Being showcased in the museum of life
And as everyone passes by
No one knows what’s going on
But really, no one wants to know.
My mouth is moving yet I am silent
But really, I’m screaming.