How Rube

Stitched to the flowers on the sofa,
oblivious to the silence on the television.
I press refresh, reload websites, wish in vain
for icons to indicate a new response, any sign
of someone still awake, someone to listen
to the silence on my lips, the confusion in my
head, the hardening of my unhealed heart.
I started to bleed this morning, for the first time
in forever. An easy target to blame these emotions
on. [It is unlikely that the moon has anything to do
with the disaster unfolding before my leaking eyes.]
Although perhaps my body knew its veins sought release,
so it did the best it knew how in order to oblige.
I will repay it by keeping skin intact, tonight.

The monsters wait for me, upstairs, lined up like soldiers
awaiting the battle cry. Fear of inanimate objects
is a tricky sort of thing. It’s all smoke and shadows,
but it has me stopped in my tracks. They won’t work
if I don’t take them [but what if they don’t work when I do?]
It makes more sense to try and see than to not try at all,
yet my throat closes when I hold them in my hand,
I forget how to swallow as they sink below the puddle of water
in my mouth, getting dangerously close to touching
my tongue. Once they touch, it’s all over- the chalky bitterness
and sticky sliminess is too much to take, and I reveal the remnants
of dinner to the toilet. An involuntary reaction, caused by
my own head games. I’ve been swallowing my whole life,
but this particular ritual I cannot force, or memorize, or complete
with any sort of ease. How does an otherwise competent person
fail at life’s most basic functions? Breathing is beyond me too, most
days. My brain is stuck in Rube Goldberg mode and I can’t stop
the dominoes from falling. Or the TSH. Except that I can, by taking the pills.
It should be so much simpler than it is.
I should be so much better than I am.

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