Like a parasite, it claws at my flesh.
It’s in my head, gnawing at that part of the brain
which no one knows the name of:
A king among shadows,
It rules over unsuspecting subjects,
Towering behind us,
Strapping chains around ankles,
Yet leaving wrists unbound
For there is work to be done.
its ever constant henchman,
A permanent smirk across his numbered face,
Watching as I struggle
and drown in a whirlpool of words,
notes, numbers, deadlines--
my own creation.
You might not see them.
Smiles hide the residual shame
as makeup covers insecurity.
Laughter hides the cries of angst
that run parallel to misery.
I’ll avoid your eyes,
weary of what you might see,
Even add a blush for effect,
with painted, plastic petals
To divert your curiosity.
But if you really knew me,
You would know
I am a person of tangible truth,
Not to be swayed by this pink illusion of a cause,
This facade which I work so hard to sell you.
My agenda is worth more
Than any phone number
Surrounded by infatuated gossip.
If tears ever damp my cheeks,
Which they have in many a night,
Their summons shall not be of heartbreak
But of simple fatigued frailty.
So if you ask of my well being,
I shall respond with yet another smile.
This one, which is sure to shame
The last in all of its brightness,
Quelling any inquiry
And silencing any doubt.
With hungry eyes did I look upon this path,
Greedy hands stretched out
towards the glory of success,
And I set out.
It was of my own will that I resolved to proceed.
But the once clear river has faded into a murky marshland,
Roots and aquatic plants
Bending and twisting,
Entangling themselves with my legs,
Begging me to stay.
They embrace me warmly,
A disparity to the cold,
uncertain, and clouded water.
I try to look back--
Don't you dare.
Yet another oppressing entity enters the stage,
Bred from the audacity of my spineless actions.
How could I?
Am I so weak as to renege
At the face of failure?
Therefore I must reap.
Any other action taken would render me
And destroy all chances
of becoming a wolf.
Lethargic, hypocritical, pathetic, disgraceful…
Self-loathing builds up the magma in my stomach,
Turning the convection currents of burning adjectives,
And catalyzes the transition to scorching lava.
The ashes clear.
My face feels tight,
Not unlike the strings of a cello
when they go sharp.
My eyes are dry-
Every brush of air bringing
A sense of cold with it.
Fingers pulse from exploitation,
Their tips harboring a tint of red.
My scalp tingles from the abuse.
What am I doing?
There is a moment of blankness
As thought ceases to circulate.
I can feel my emotions draining away,
The river emptying into an open ocean,
I am left vacant,
Knees hit the ground,
Chains rattling behind me,
My ears ringing...
Body folds in half,
Mimicking the form
Of an unborn soul.
I clutch my head.
I can still hear the outlines of my words
Echoing through the silence of my conscience.
“I'll get it done.”
I feel the pressure
Of the ever present shadow king
Whom I avariciously invited,
Weighing on me like a blanket
In the middle of summer.
But it's okay.
Regardless of the burden,
It is still my creation.
While I might be a subject,
I am also a host.
And while stress is my king,
He is also my guest.