It comes when I am quiet,
when I am without defense.
When I go from the place of unconsciousness
and come back to being wide awake.
It hits me like a shock
like a bolt of lightning would.
It shakes me at the core of myself
and leaves me rattled deeper still.
I used to love to fall asleep
in the middle of the day.
To drift off slowly and softly
for a moment or an hour.
I used to love that dreamy place
of slowly waking up.
The smoky gray would hang on the edge of my memory
and I could walk around in the dream.
I never have that any more
that safe and cozy feeling.
That drifting gently back and forth
between the awake and the dream.
I either have to push myself
until exhausted, I succumb.
Or submit to the terror and panic
of being unable to stay asleep.
It’s terrifying and painful
and leaves me afraid and feeling small.
To be smacked in the chest with the reality
that I still here all alone.