Pain is Red

Take a seat

Once again

They tell me

An eighteen-year veteran

Who has yet to reach twenty

The orange glow of the room

Is blindingly opaque

But in a few moments

Opacity is all I will see

I face the right

The bottles are capped with red

Pain is red           

But red is necessary

Here we go again       

I prepare myself

As another new doctor enters

How I've seen them come and go

Just like the bottles

She warns about the red

As if it was the first time

And urges me to relax

Although I am at ease

Does she know my story?

Do they recognize me?

I know the bottles do

Doctor dives into my eyes

With a glance of uncertainty

Pulls the red cap off,

My lower lid down

Saying, "Look up."

Is Mom watching?

Or does she turn away?

As the bottle nears my flesh

Ever so slowly

It fades away

With the blackness of my iris

Rolling into nowhere

I am strong

The crystal takes form

Microseconds away

In reality

But hours away

It seems to me

It won't hurt like it did before

And the crystal falls

Caught between its sanctuary,

My cornea,

And space and time

Does Mom ever watch?

Is she strong like me?

In one smoldering instant

Time comes crashing down

As the crystal follows suit

Like a door in a raging fury

Eyelids slam shut

The sting swirls all around me

I see nothing

Yet everything is red

The scintillating clouds

The smoky mirages

A millionfold of sparkles

Bottle caps

My past

Is red

Pain is red

Three concerned words reach my ears

"Open your eyes."

The familiarity alone is blinding

You have to open your eyes

My eyes

Scarred but clean

Damaged but new


Quiet but fierce

Small but fighting


Dreaded but renewing







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