“Fine”

When I say I’m fine,
what I mean, of course,
is I’m not
It’s a hollow word,
like “whatever” or
“call any time”.

But what would it serve
if I told you true?
That the beast in my brain
is chewing on my neurons,
and your cheery words
splinter in my ears? 

That the dark waves
rolling off me
are old companions:
the storm clouds
of self-loathing?
That they leech the very
color from the air
and leave me gasping?

That the main thing
tying me to this moment
(besides medication)
is the double gift of
apathy and lethargy?
That I haven’t
the strength
to make an end,
or breath left in me
to articulate?

So I ask you,
how would it help
either of us when that
wall of awkwardness
unfurls between us?

The beast of smoke
and thunder is coiled
around my brainstem,
watching you through
my stinging eyes.
If you could see what I see
even you’d recoil.

And so,
I’m fine, thanks;
not dying inside at all.

And how are you?

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2 Comments

  1. Very well expressed! Like it and can relate! Great imagery! Often, I am tempted to explain how I feel – I mean, don’t ask if you don’t want to know, right? – wrong! The ‘wall of awkwardness unfurls’ and nobody feels any better! Great poem – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Thanks, Rob! I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that reaching out to people gets harder the more down I am, until it’s like the poem, almost impossible to breach that wall. It helps to know that others experience the same thing though! Makes a few chinks in the wall. 🙂

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