Willing Occupant of a Deadfall


“Whatever you do, don’t hide away in your room. You will just continue to sink.”

Sound advice after I broke the news. I actually thought I had escaped the darkness that has been known to pervade my consciousness, to pull me down rung by rung until I feel I cannot climb back up out of the shadows and into the light again. And how I sank. For someone who has struggled his whole life to understand what it meant to actually love and be loved, who refused to use the the three word phrase for years, I surely felt that I had those feelings emanating from the pores in my skin. That is, until the floor was cut out from under me.

Your fingertips ripped holes
in my ventricles
And the fire in my chest
was over run by water
and extinguished
with the hiss of an inhale
that accompanies unexpected pain
air passing backwards between the teeth
And the umbra ran tendrils
from my heart to my head
and rooted me to the ground
I was infected.

I did my best to outrun it and it worked for a while. I spent a lot of time with friends. In fact, one asked me to come over and hang out for the first time in months the day after it all happened. I wasn’t dark then. I was still denying the fact that it hurt and it hurt like white hot steel between my shoulder blades, scraping bone with every simple movement. But eventually, the night caught up with me and I sank.

You don’t know what it’s like to mourn the loss of someone still living.
You don’t know what it’s like when a part of you dies
because you gave it to someone else
and they squandered it
stepped on it
My heart carved up by the heel of a stiletto shoe
Don’t worry about me
you never did

Nothing mattered. I slept until it was time to go to work when I did go to work. Most days I was able to muster up the energy to drag myself from my cave in the basement and get dressed enough to get to work. I tried to inundate my brain with as much senseless media as possible as a means to forget but nothing happened. And so I sank. The ceiling fan is a welcome distraction when it’s spinning and I’ve lost the motivation to do anything on my days off. I wrote to exorcise the ghosts. I fictionalized portions so it would seem less real and I realized I was only feeding the beast by reliving everything I thought I had gotten over.

I couldn’t write anymore. That’s how down I was. And when I did it was a subject I was so sick of that I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Every line about someone I don’t want to write about anymore.

And it didn’t help to stumble upon pictures of you and him. Just when I thought I had gotten over it, there you were. And my heart would stop beating all over again.

From here to asystole.


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