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.