Friday, October 2, 2009

Not a Martyr

I never wanted Martyrdom—
Yet in my mind's eye I catch flashes of myself
Stretched out taut,
Broken and Bloody
My palms lacerated.

My spine is arched at an odd angle
As crooked as I feel—
Nothing seems quite right
I long to heal this
This thing that makes me ugly and hateful
This raging demon that seems beyond my control

I realize that control is the illusion
But I still grasp at threads.
Seared with a piercing longing
A longing that somehow this will pass
That if I can just endure some more
I will be whole and peaceful at last.

Words are not sufficient
To describe this thing
This complete suffocation
Of my every attempt to breathe a clear breath
The agony is like the contractions of Blake’s “Job”
Or Graham’s helpless contortions

The expansion is the tension
Joy bubbling below the surface
But stifled by adversity
The contractions are reactions to external blows
How much can one human being endure?
I am at the end of my tether.

Must I always be strong?
Must I always fight not just the battles--
But the very war alone?
I pray on shaking knees
But there is nothing
No one to listen

I howl in the darkness
But there is none to answer my piercing cry
I am akin
To the cat who walks alone
My hunting ground silent
Except for the pad of my stealthy paws

My claws react
My ears perk to every sound
In the silence and darkness
Where I dwell
I hunt alone
But the prey is ever-elusive.

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