My spine is made of stones
lined up in single, smoothed, grey pebble file.
My stomach is hollowed out
an empty cavity in a tree.
My eyes are morphine
blind with bubbles bursting behind them in
my sandpit mind.
I dig until my nails get gritty
finding treasures, fossils, toy soldiers
and bottle caps, silver thin and glinting in the afternoon sun.
My hands graze and strain
digging up the black box
which, locked inside, stores the secret,
a small, blunt, heavy gun.
Legs drunk on the scrambled time
Move, stumble-run, without me.
They stagger together
taking me places before I have thought to go.
I have been hungry for so long
I have forgotten how to taste
how to think about the bigger smaller things
I have forgotten how to wonder about the waves
I have been tired so long I have forgotten
how to dream when I sleep.
I awake now immediately with the dawn
crawling out of my hideout in the bough
of high up trees.
My mouth is dry with flies
and I keep repeating days
circling between visions of past and present
I lose which hour is now and which was then
I have broken out of tense and
speak in broken sentences to myself
I do not laugh out loud.
And my hands are rough with wire.
I am alone and those who do not want me
walk the city streets.
My hair has grown and my body cleans itself
incompletely. But I do not have the
strength or energy to notice smell.
I must follow the instructions.
How long has it been now?
Days or years alone?
But I cannot break, I cannot let go.
I must work, protect, stay alert and
vigilant, not let myself get hurt
keep myself awake and with it
away from other visions and words
I must remember to remind myself that
this is the only,
This. Is. The. Only. Real World.
Dehydrated days and signals and secret messages
of salvation left hidden in places
where other eyes might not see them:
curled in leaves, that align only in the
breeze at the right time, from the right angle.
Written almost as though by chance
in the scrawl of a bark
bitten out by grubs and ants
I must stay awake and not miss any signs
That may help me close in on their reality.
I will chase those voices who always rearrange
sticks just ahead and around the corner
pointing towards doorways I would otherwise
choose not to enter.
I will obey their signs if only to meet their challenges
and confront their form.
I will struggle on to show them that I am stronger
then they who visit in my sleep and
change the realities around me.
I will stay awake I will stay away from the wrong reality
I will stay strong and sane.
I will learn to tell the real from the fake,
I will struggle on in silence but not in vein,
I will stay awake
I will do what I must to stay awake
I will cure the hurt and wrongs of this world one riddle at a time
I will stay awake
I will take as much as I can take.
As long as I can just stay awake.