I’ve had just about enough.
The rattling of my car’s heat shield
against the rattling of my brains
cobbled together with failing adhesive.
Driving home from another government office.
The same songs on Spotify; I’m discovering weakly
that I can’t trust victory. A motor oil bottle leaking
onto rags on the carpet; corn chips on the floor.
The smell of defeat.

One step forward, two steps back;
my heart reminds me it’s planning an attack.
A chime from the woman who sends me snakes;
all of my lovers live far away.

I pushed all the papers. Carried all the weight.
I’m thinking about the water heater that might need fixing
and the Portland cement around the fieldstones
in the basement crumbling with every falling rain,
like my vanishing ligaments and fascia. I’m cheating death,
or not quite, just accelerated decay I guess
so I play with snakes and pretend I’m not fighting,
for five minutes of glorious aliveness
as I dance with pain on purpose

I’m driving home, and I lost and I won
and my back pay’s gone due to clerical error,
the electric bill’s still scheduled for cutoff
and my daughter’s walked out in the rain again
waiting for me to be her umbrella

Death rattles through my drawers,
dancing in my pants
searching for rational answers
to the question I don’t want to ask—
I chase it away
with more reasons why
and a top 40 hit of euphoria.

© Psyche Marks 2019

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