Night Terrors

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

I can’t sleep.

You tell me again, and I know

You’ve heard it before

No matter how hard I try

If I close my eyes then the world before me becomes blank

And I’m left battling each oppressive thought

I dodge, another, and another, but my knuckles bleed and burn

Sticking to a ticking clock, each second, over and over again, asking foreign questions with no answer

If I contemplate now then my dreams will explode and spill in terror

When I wake my mind drifts to all the possibilities that will never occur

But if I sleep then they become something

I am foolish in practicality, but

When I am no longer here my body, what will become of it?

Like all, it will become nothing but the soil we walk on

I do not want to feel pain

This body, this being, this mind

In one second it could be gone

Maybe I will start over within a new world

The world we live in is cruel and unusual

We search for a meaning, a purpose, a reason

All to enact a force of growth

But in a new world,

And we are born not to die but to make something of ourselves

What of the people who are forgotten and lost?

The people who have no one to remember their names or faces?

Or what they’ve done or said or made or felt

What of them?

If they have no words to be remembered by?

They sink into the soil, their souls drifting to the other world

One that is less cruel to them

And not a word was spoken further

I am here one day but gone the next

No matter where I go, the scythe follows me

It taps my door, asking, “is it time yet?”

Echoing, reverberating through my caged chest

And until that moment, the door refuses to open

And my chest sprouts a single flower, only to wilt in the last breath

But I cannot see, for I am looking ahead

I can never turn and run back through the sands

Long, deep scratches mar my legs

The hands are pulling me down into the earth

A gritty, searing, sinking pain, a total body shut down

I just might disintegrate, you just might lose me

And I feel it behind me, a cold ghost caressing my back

“You’ll know when, won’t you?”

I can never change the past, I can only change the future

Yet, the fog has not lifted when I finally face forward

When I gather a grain of sand to fall in courage’s lap

It is no less clear than before

Amidst that, I am left to nothing

Do I wait for the world to wring me dry? Or shall I carve a heart worthy of emotion?

Even in this, I do not know

I fear

My life will be left in a limbo

One day I’ll be forgotten

We will all be forgotten

I may crumble into particles swept in the wind

I float and find a new vessel

To mold something new

If I sleep I may miss it

I may not know

I may never know

Yet as much as I want to, need to rest my head on the pillow

Where resistance only comes in waves

These thoughts circle in infinite motion

And yet

My body, my vessel, my mind

They deceive me

Even in fear,

In distrust,

In wonder,

My lids flutter shut

Tightly, unflinching, and

Against my will

If I had any in the first place.