Mental Anaesthetic

Disconsolate weather
encourages bleak thoughts for which I have no outlet
other than my pen
Too many conversations with our eyes
which never go beyond the point of unreality

Panic floods my mind like bile
so I walk the road of somnambulism
to numb my grateful senses
and retain my sobriety

I trip along a precipice of hysteria
groping for reassurance: my rosary beads
each time I feel my anaemic grip,
on this hypothetical world, slipping
... while all the time, the insistent despair
creeps out of my eyes, although forbidden

The bubble of my trance shrivels and fades
and I'm attacked by uncontrollable shivering
as the words stumble past my lips
... polluting the air between us
until I see the thought reach his eyes, and feel him share
my burden of melancholy

My mind rejecting, my body reluctantly accepting
this life-gaining parasite feeding upon me ...

I lie on the starched white bed, hazy pictures in my head
melting at the corners, and fading out
with pin pricks of startling iridescence ...

I oven my eyes, and caress the vague ache
where the cancer used to exist
another time, little life, you would be welcome
to share my strength
but although tears rip me up inside
I'm glad you're gone now,
And I am myself again.

FIRE 21, p 84; Lucy Ashman