365 Poems/30 – The Long Stillnesses

The Long Stillnesses

The room is small, stuffy, hot.

My makeup has long been wiped off

with tears and gritty tissues.


You haven’t moved in twelve hours,

but I’m convinced you will.

Sometime really soon, your eyes


will creak open and you’ll bellow

for a cup of strong tea, a cigarette,

something sweet, and it’ll be like


none of this mess in your head

happened, it’ll be like

everything else is still

in the right place,

nothing will have shifted.


I have this awful feeling of uselessness

when I can’t find my way

to the toilet or vending machine.


Under my breath, I beg you to wake up,

and then the chaplain comes. He’s called Jim

and I want to hate his gentle tone


and his fucking bible. He makes us join hands

and I want to cut out his vocal cords,

because I’m still in the belief you’ll turn over

and startle us with your loud voice.