I fell asleep on the couch
My head was crushing my hands
Into crabby claws.
Was I clawing at something, someone?
They were so sore upon waking
From having slept them into a contorted wood-like gnarl.
Not all contortion is painful though….
When I looked at my small wrist
Who even looks at their wrist except on the dark days?
I saw a pulsation
Heard it screaming in my ears
Beneath the silken surface of my skin
Beneath two barely-there freckles, a splotch of pink dye,
Beneath those delicate string-like tendons that I can see and feel under the sheath of me.
Why can’t I hear my own heartbeat
At any other time than after waking from an accidental nap
On the couch?
There is always this panic tied up in the chords of my voice
And a waking sleepful dream
Still caught in my chest,
On my chest like that creepy demon in that painting…
And the booming of my bloodstream makes me wish
I could accidentally fall back asleep
Just to escape the sound.
*** The Nightmare (Henry Fuseli, 1791) ***
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