Saturday, April 21, 2012

"The Last Breath Before Coma" and other Poems

Photo by Stuart Miles
by Savannah Cosby

Last Breath Before Coma

Furious stomping:

out the house
down the stairs
and around the block
as the voice in the speaker declares itself.
The magnitude of his speech
is a lull as I stand
staring at the pharmacy isle.
Which one will it be?
The ibuprofen isn’t lethal enough,
too much liquid in Nyquil,
who even knows if the Sudafed could cure this disease.
My vision is blurred and my hand is operating independently.
It leaves my body and extends for
a mega bottle of Tylenol PM and an economy size box of sleeping aids.
I paid the unsuspecting,
hardly human
cashier with a furrowed brow
and marched the football field’s distance
back home.
I was re-greeted by the tornado in my head
and that determined hand of mine called Caitlin
who rejected the call
which lead my hand to start slinging back the pills.
78 Tylenol gone in about 7 handfulls.
My mouth and throat seem to be on my hand’s team
while my brain and heart are wandering aimlessly
in the forest of pathetic desperation.
24 sleeping tablets,
smaller in size and gone in about 3 handfulls.
Two glasses of water to speed up the process
and one last phone call.
This is it.
I’m going to die.
Let me fall asleep first,
please, just let me go to sleep.
I’ll turn plastic from all the faking,
I can’t try any harder.
She answered.
“I love you
and I’ve let you ruin me.”
It occurred to me that I could have said more.
Tylenol, in large doses,
will poison a persons liver.
unannounced and uncontrollable
blue foam (all the pills were blue)
spatters and scatters itself
covering the floor and my vision.
That’s right body
I’ve set you on fire.
The world spins,
crawling to the bathroom,
grip the toilet seat as
the tile drags me under.
Control has long since left the building.
Scramble to the bedroom.
I choke,
“I’m dying.”
More vomit on the carpet,
the color blue.
Back to the bathroom,
back to the black hole of a toilet.
I can’t escape.
Blackness takes over my awareness
as the tile wins the battle for my soul.
I feel a warm hand touch my back
a familiar voice,
and I drop out of consciousness.

The Aching Ego
This line isn’t like the next,
nor is it like the one before it.
“This line really feels.”
“That line blatantly squanders.”
“This one is my crucifixion.”
“That one is my resurrection.”

With shelves of words
and cargo ships of combinations,
are we building something shiny and new
or just disassembling the already stunning?
Has time,
who has had an idea or two,
weighed on us like the ancient grand piano
sank into the 18th century plantation home
and shoved us into such a narrow corridor
that we,
no longer see the perfection
in what already is
but only
do we see
the great light
in the invisible parts of ourselves?

Does unity,
who looks the same in all reflections,
exist only in the damp basement
of our emotional capacity?

The Watch Tower
I feel her attention fade
seeping from the conversation
we are,
or were,
engaged in
to her private realm of locked doors.
In it,
I imagine her swirling through
glass halls of expressional freedom,
not needing to search for what she should experience,
but simply being where ever it is
that she needs to be
in that moment.
High ceilings and interior brick walls
protect her from undesired observation.
She can laugh as loud
jump as high
or sink as low as she wants to
because she can always choose something else.
Her isolation proves my-self’s demise
and I stare,
gasping in awe at her self-reliance.

Promise Shmomise
The Promised Land has its promises.
Even if I was a chosen one
I wouldn’t be able to move this boulder.
Impassable and heavy,
the rock is personally offensive.
I can’t squeeze my fragile frame underneath
and my arms are too weak to climb it.
I’m all out of dynamite
I knew I shouldn’t have kabooshed our old house.
It was all for sentiment, really.
Standing slightly straight
strapped surely to stone sand
won’t stop said solid
from smiling shyly
down at me when I take in my last breath
and either give my hands up to Him
or die trying to earn my admittance
through the land
that promises me heaven
only after I have died.


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