This is right about the time when things are hardest
after 5 or 6 days of walking on dry land.
The ground beneath my feet is hard and brittle
and everything is just a little too clear.
My emotions have reached a raw exposure
after days when all the numb has slipped away.
The nerves and panic take up where they left off
and snuggle up in bed right next to me.
I’ve been running, sweating, driving myself to exhaustion
for days and days just so I could sleep.
But here I am a week in and I’m struggling
to keep myself from diving in again.
Just a swim, a gentle dip below the surface
enough to soak me fully to the bone.
Enough that I can disappear from this place and all this pain
just for a moment and then off to sleep again.
It’s dusty, stale and barren in this desert
there’s nothing soft and nowhere I can dream.
I can slip into that other place unnoticed
and the scars are the only way to prove I was there.
I’m fighting for life and death as if I had an army
with the strength of numbers arming me for the war.
But the reality is that I am the only one here
unarmed, alone and falling victim to the night.