Busy Mind #21

Previous Condition

I woke up shaking

Alone in my room

The gray sheet-a twisted rope

Breathing as if from running

Motionless-for the longest while

Laying on my back-spread-eagle

Staring up at the spackled ceiling

With ear in tune to other sounds from the house:

A teapot whistling

A smoker’s sputum  filled, hacking cough

A long drawn out yawn

My dog barking at the approaching mail man

Ma’s bacon sizzling on the cast iron griddle

In the shower, a girly voice singing Taylor Swift‘s “Mean”

The  soft hum of the 5 blade fan over my bed

 

I had been dreaming

I woke up trembling-not sure why

The dream’s detail’s eluded me

I was certain I was running

This was recurrent

A previous condition

For a prolonged time; no dreams would come

Then with out notice, they’d return

A whole flood of them- a torrent even

I’d put off going to bed ’til I’d succumb to my restlessness

R.E.M. would kick in-to suck me into the vortex

I’d fall asleep frightened-to awaken terrified

I’d calm myself by listening to Ludwig’s “Moonlight Sonata

Watching the smoke from a neglected pipe rise to my spackle ceiling.

 

I’d run away all of my life

At 16 I ran from my ma

Left her a note in chicken scratch

Told her not to worry

When I was 22, she died

Then the runaway returned

To her still, cold body waiting for me in a pine box

The old place-resembled a macabre masterpiece by Goya

The house stood naked, paint pealing-like a harlot in need of a manicure

An old rain coat stuffed in the front bay window

Bright yellow police taped blared at me:

“STAY THE HELL OUT VAGRANTS AND RUNAWAYS!”

That’s what my eyes read

My eyes red-from stinging tears

Once again,returned all of my fears

I stared at my reflection

In the old cracked oval gold leaf mirror

Left outside on the porch

Why did I run?

Where did I go?

Did nothing change?

I was still the same man…

That guy with a previous condition.

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2013

Image

Altered Book: Exploring Literature/Lynn Altenbernd

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