steam out of tea

And then your face blurs,
like a portrait melting behind rising steam
and the smell, the image of you
evaporates the same.

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i need a cup of coffee and toast to wake up

i need a cup of coffee
and toast to wake up

i need Vitamin C in my day
to wake me up

give me fermented lemon tea
and cream cheese to wake up
(but not together)
(though, i’ve never tried it)

i need water, lots of it
and ice to wake me up

brush my hair, i don’t need it neat
i just like the touch, the rhythm, the pull
to wake me up

my medication, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
of them, to wake me up

from this horrid, horrid
state of reality
that i cannot wake up from.

Writing at a small cafe
Gazing longingly at the
crumbs of my walnut cake
left over on the plate
My back to the window.

The sun is setting on the west
its hot rays baking my neck, my
shoulder blades a searing iron slate.

It’s beginning to become
kind of, unbearably hot,
kind of painful
There is no reason for me
to endure this fire
No test of gallantry
No need for punishment

There are rows of empty tables
swathed in shade,
empty seats like cool thrones–
I could easily, simply move.

6:14am

The kitchen light turns on

Its warm tone makes my translucent door glow

I wonder who it is, a little disturbed

Like the sanctity of my sleepless hours

Has been intruded upon by another unwanted

Gesture of reality.

Then I realize it is Baba

Boiling water and rummaging for a fork

And I realize it is already 6am

And he is packing up for work.

Suddenly I feel safe, a little cozy

He cracks open my door and as quietly as he can,

Shuffles into my bedroom

I bury my phone under my pillow, shut my eyes unrealistically tight

Baba turns off my fan, probably thinking I’m too cold

My feet are still too warm

But I don’t mind.

The four last hours I’ve lost lightly presses onto my chest– soft, reassuring hands telling me

It’s OK to sleep now.

The front door closes, he’s gone for work now.

I’ll see him in 10 hours–

For now, I rest,

The peeking sun casting patterns

Through my window blinds.

 

5:53am

I don’t think there’s a mosquito in the room

But the back of my right shoulder and

The side of my left pinky

Have somehow been itched bloody.

I lift my forearm to face the fan

My toes are much too warm

For me to fall back asleep

And I’ve never craved a juicy, sugary watermelon

As much as I do now.

I think I hear someone’s ankle cracking,

Creaking the floor outside my bedroom.

My toes are still uncomfortably warm,

Too warm for me to sleep

Is this what really woke me up?

What terrible, pointless reality.

But I can’t figure out the best position

To get the fan to blow right at my feet

So I let it pointlessly whir.

A little longer

It feels like I’m hiding in fear. In fearful anticipation.

For the months that I began to feel better, mornings after bad nights felt merely like hangovers. After a night of intoxicating sadness or anxiety, I’d wake up feeling weak and tired. But this would fade as the day went on.

After a bad last night, I still feel it. I feel exhausted more than tired, my digging nails leave purple dents in my white palms. I pull out all the manuals in my backpack: go out in the sun, be where people are– don’t be alone, focus on work if you can, stay hydrated, do breathing exercises, tense and release. But after crossing all these off, after sitting at a Starbucks with progress on my laptop and a refreshing lemonade beside me, I can’t help but endure a constant, throbbing pain. It makes my ears ring. My eyes well. Makes every potentially fatal action inviting.

But it’ll pass. Just wait it out. I’ll wait. Wait in fearful anticipation.