clinical lullaby

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 07:51 -- reidish

"how long?"

 

ten hours, twenty, thirty.

 

"asleep or awake?"

 

i don’t know. is it tuesday?

sometimes i am tired enough that my brain submits, slogging through the slush and lulling me to a silent sleep

but most of the time i am not.

 

"you’re not?"

 

i’m not.

 

"not what?"

 

tired enough to submit.

 

to deal.

you weren’t there, you don’t understand.

i’ve escaped until i haven’t,

if my brain isn’t tired enough, it will allow itself to relive it

and there’s nothing i can do.

i didn’t put up a fight then, what makes me think it’ll be any different this time around?

or tomorrow night?

or the night after?

or—

 

"so what do you do?"

 

blink.

if you’re blinking, you’re awake, and if you’re awake, you’re here.

 

"here?"

 

on earth.

in bed, or on the couch, or face down on the bathroom floor,

here.

not in my head.

you know, the word “sleep” is misleading.

 

 

"how so?"

 

it implies rest,

but you’re not resting if you’ve got your head between your knees,

trying to put off doing the laundry,

trying not to hang the wash up in the back of the basement where your family will not see it

trying not to think about scrubbing the floor

folding up the rags and hiding them like vomit,

like evidence,

trying to ignore the beat-beat-beating of this stupid, restless heart,

boy, that thumper sure is a persistent motherfucker, huh?

won’t it just cut it out with the noise? i am trying to sleep!

and on that note, how about shutting up that bitch that keeps screaming—

what, it’s me?

oh. well, tell “me” to can it, please and thanks,

i’m just asking for ten minutes of rest,

and that boy.

that boy.

 

"what’s he doing?"

 

doing?

oh, nothing.

just looking at me like i’m nothing more than a used condom

but also like i’m his whole world.

mostly he’s ignoring me, though,

pointedly watching but not noticing as i lay here like a gutted fish;

i think he’s got some water, but he won’t give me any,

says he needs it all for himself, it’s pretty draining to deal with my shit all the time, i bet.

somebody get this boy a fucking medal.

 

"you’re getting off topic."

 

topic? what topic?

i’m talking about my brain, did you expect it to make sense?

i haven’t had a rational thought in three years, doctor,

so sorry to disappoint.

and you know what else?

i’ve come to realize that there is no way out.

all the exit signs are out of order,

the lamp posts have all gone out,

and every candle in the joint will burn away soon enough.

i live in a labyrinth, except the walls have collapsed over the way out

and there is no exit, there’s not, but even though there’s not much point in looking for one, i do it anyway.

i walk and look and walk some more, lifting every leaf and solving every puzzle,

evading every death trap,

outrunning raging minotaurs,

for what?

if i know the exit doesn’t exist, why do i keep looking for it?

 

"i get the feeling you’re going to answer this question for me, aren’t you?"

 

you know me too well, doc.

i keep looking for it—

even though i know i will never find it—

to kill time.

 

"kill time? kill time until what?"

 

until i’m finally tired enough.

finally worn out enough,

exhausted enough,

broken down enough

that my brain will give me some peace and quiet

and let me

sleep.

This poem is about: 
Me
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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