I hurt. My hands ache. My feet ache. My chest burns. I hurt everywhere. Everywhere. In every inch you see And in all the hidden places of my body The secret places of my soul. “Everything’s uncertain Except that my soul is burning.” I am burning alive And I cannot even scream. Please take it away And if you cannot do so Take me away. Anywhere but in this slow dying This immortal endless Vapid existence This helpless useless Unwanted condition in which I languish. I am swollen with disuse and overuse Stretched beyond my bearings My joints aching with the strain. I am sodden with this heavy, empty wanting This powerless need so great That it overwhelms me And despite my resolutions I take a deep lungful of wet Cantankerous yearning. This is what it is To drown in your own stupidity Your own reasonless mania. For one moment I go manic I am soaring Unstoppable And I believe Will all the power of my driven mind That I will succeed I will get to the place of my desire And I will be taken in And desired And the things of which I despair Are possible. I could throw myself bodily from a cliff And sustain no lasting harm. But then I fall With a resounding thud Hit the ground of reality And taste its gritty pavement grate between my teeth. Everything grinds to a halt And starts back up. A record scratching. I thrust my hands into my pockets Shake my hair into my eyes And grip the sidewalk with my stare As if I could hold it there Solid and stolid and unyielding. Nothing is solid Nothing is true The manic faith will not last And will do me no good. Better I stay on this ground Stay grounded in my cynical despair. I won’t get my hands chopped off again If I keep them safe in my sweatshirt pockets And don’t reach out again. I am safe. No one will touch me when I am toxic like this. Bitter Angry loud The backwash Of partially digested pills And cleaning fluid And stomach acid. I taste like bile and bitterness Swallowed whole And thrown back up A monarch butterfly Beautiful But untenable.