Perhaps the cure for this
is a pair of comfortable shoes,
or a plate of greens tossed with lemon.
It could be in a lucky number,
or in that Irish worry stone you
keep inside a crumb-crusted purse,
or even in an exorcism
carried out by a holy father.
Maybe, the solution is in eliminating
a certain sweater from your wardrobe
or in only wearing it on a Tuesday.
The rampant hypotheticals
seem plausible to you, despite
their nonsensical nature because
you need them to be.
Pinpointing the triggers is unimportant
but you search for them anyway:
too much time spent at a job you
never really liked but stayed with,
and same scenario involving a man.
This is your history with its dog-eared chapters:
the thorny childhood,
which you thought was typical,
until someone told you it wasn’t the norm
to have belt marks on your legs,
gashes on your scalp, and a
pockmarked adolescence, filled with
dreamy expectations, and doomed green love.
Everyone, it seems, suffers these tiny, chronic quakes
and emerge from them unscratched.
All, but you.
This eidolon, this thing
which pumps you with the very blood
your heart designs, is owning you.
It rolls, like a louring dust cloud
filled with images of your mistakes,
coming at you, licking its lips.
It’s a lustful tulpa, the birth child of
your own self-loathing and
the greatest frustration is in knowing
that you are the one who feeds it.
You brought it here.
The dark casts certain worries,
but the light is far worse,
because you’re attacked in places
where you normally feel safe,
showcasing your frailty.
In the dark, at least, it is blind
and fumbles in search of you,
crashing into the bedpost, stubbing its toe
on the antique trunk which is stamped with
the travel of long dead gypsies.
You never knew
your life would be about this.
There is no movement, no love, and
no sex in a habitat of the afflicted.
Inertia is the only hope;
it keeps you free from
the cold fingers of an unseen force
which steals the breath and grips
the throat. It tries to liberate
the heart from the house of you
by reaching in, and wrenching it out.
You need to run, but to where?
The unfettered are watching and
judging you with their stares.
No one knows you anymore
so you scan the tittering crowd
with a desperate fanaticism
searching for the faces of
kindred brothers and sisters,
and see none.
Ignoring it won’t kill it,
and resistance is foreplay
to an unyielding incubus.
You should face it,
with teeth clenched and fists raised,
except it’s not your style.
What feels right to you,
are the covers on the bed,
and the tears on the pillow,
because they are familiar and soft,
with no hint of angry ghosts
hell bent on possession.
Dying there, wrapped
in the gauze and delusion,
would be more welcome than expiring
in front of bewildered strangers.
that’s what you are,
battling the invisible
with no test or x-ray which
will convey evidence to the sane.
Soon, anger is the only emotion
which feels right, the only one which
has some influence in motivating you to resist
in the smallest way you know.
You fear the beast, hate it
with every thing you have left,
but you write poetry to it.