I tried everything
To break my mind like a sheet of glass.
I pounded with my fists.
It held, cold and unyielding,
And when I was spent it was exactly as it had been
In tact and undamaged.
Maybe this time will be different.
Maybe this time
When you go
I’ll put my fist through it like a mirror
And it will finally shatter and become a part of me.
I close my eyes, and dream.
I am in a ward, and it is empty and cool.
I run my hands along the hospital beds
Their coarse white linens
I push my fingers through the bars on the windows of the doors
I lay my cheek against the cold metal of a table
I am alone
And I feel nothing
Echoing and calm.
The air is like gel
I have to push through it
And I am slow and empty and content to be so.
The world refracts
And I watch coolly, detached
But they don’t bother me.
They follow me on the wallpaper, waving hands
And I reach for them
Line my fingers up with theirs
Feel the darkness tingle along my skin.
They don’t speak
But someone else does.
It’s a harsh husk of a whisper, like sand
And I let it scrape across the back of my neck and raise the flesh along my arms.
The sound fills me like a horrible prayer,
And suddenly I feel everything instead of nothing
And I think
This is the moment I die
This is the end of me
But instead it
I put a hand to my throat in surprise, feel the vibrations there.
My face is contorted, and for a long moment I feel it, trying to read it,
Trying to understand,
Then pull back sharply, having found what I was looking for
And hating it.
No, no, no-
If I can make the maze of my thoughts hard enough to navigate
Maybe I will never find my way out again
I sink inside myself,
Sorry sorry sorry
And each word is like a wound torn open by shaking fingers
And I am sure this agony
Will last forever
Squeezing my heart and lungs
Wringing me out.
But suddenly the world shifts,
The sorrow is pulled out of me like venom and I forget it as I forget myself.
Like a child, I am new and blank and whole.
Tears still cling to my eyelashes from the moment before
But now I no longer know why they are there, blurring the edges of world.
I taste one, and it is like the sea
And I realize that I am in the water.
I bathe in front of an audience of silent white faces
They do not bother me
I am splayed, naked, in a warm porcelain tub
And I let my face sink beneath the surface
Looking up into the lights shaking and swirling above me.
They’re like little fish
Out in the air
When I’m in here.
I stare and stare
Until darkness starts to fade them
And hands grab my shoulders.
When I emerge it is like being born and dying all at once
And something like coherence gnaws at the edges of me
I shrink from it, rubbing my hands together, frantic.
A whisper that makes me turn my head sharply
But then it’s gone.
Someone pulls me from the water and dries me.
Like a doll I am moved away from that place
And I forget it as soon as the door closes.
A storm threatens though, on the horizon something menacing and tumultuous looms.
A thought I don’t want to have,
A feeling I can’t name and don’t ever want to.
It claws at me, it chews at my ragged fingernails until blood blossoms and drips onto the bedspread.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
It’s not my mind that’s fraying, it’s my soul,
And I know which one I’d rather lose.
I curl into a ball, huddled and waiting
To be crushed.
But at the last second, no-
A sharp slice, something shiny and bright.
I feel ice in my veins, and then numbness.
I want to be wrapped in white sheets
And dine on bread and water
The purest nun
The **** Madonna
Shrouded for the shadows to mourn.
I stare around me with large liquid eyes, searching for someone whose name I can’t remember.
I have to say something,
I have to tell her...
But I am alone here,
I am alone and it is loud with stillness
And I am forgetting my name as I forgot hers.
I toss it away from me, the last of something
That won’t be missed.
I drift, hoping for rest
And I start to find it.
Something metallic and heavy is seeping through me
And I let the last of that clawing feeling slip away.
I feel it. It’s back. I hope it stays forever:
I weep, and the tears are empty.
And I am empty
And I feel