the totem

i went to bed last night
there was a knot in my chest,
close to, but not quite
where my stomach lies.

it feels like rage,
it tastes like confusion,
it’s inarticulate,
it will not be denied.

i could say i hate you
because you have the power,
but i stand mute,
like an aged and weathered totem.

“You can’t find trees like that anymore.”
he said it without emotion,
just a simple fact,
and pain grew around the knot.

i slept, chased by failure
down corridors that i half remembered,
that were ultimately unfamiliar,
until your voice shook me,

“Wake up. It’s 5:00 am.
It’s time to fight again.”
strange words to hear
in a love song on a hissing radio

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