Time stalks near.
There is no sleep
in the sticky tar of night
round the fireflies I strike to life
on the cardboard sleeve
with a strip of red - Strike Here.
Little gasps of lightning
twitch the restful midnight air,
and I whisper to the souls
of families folded in their beds
“All is broken beyond repair.”
So now I try to weld my limbs
though my mind won’t reappear
staying with those drifting souls
beyond this landscape of despair.
Alight! Alight! I guard my soul
from the clock's deformed arms.
I set myself on fire
there is no cold no hunger
that could ache my body
or drain my marrow.
I’m a faithless witch
a heretic, burning on a pyre.
Brain released to eternal flight
it dreams and skips
without a care
for the wicked clock that grins with eyes
of pale delight
for the lives it gobbles up tonight.
All hapless souls who close their eyes
are sacrificing half their lives
to the jealous god of time.
Could the gentle hand of Mother Earth
now reach out to me?
Walk me home by the light of the flames
she’ll tuck me in at last
for the sweetest sleep, the longest night,
I’ll hold her hand until I droop
and the bed of dirt will wrap me tight
far from the trumpet of morn.
This poem is inspired by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton's works, but also my own life. It navigates the feelings of despair and hopelessness inherent in depression. It veers through the fog of numbness created by the self-harm that so often accompanies depression, as well as the underlying wish for death to bring peace at last.
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© 2016 Emily