I breathe into my aching lungs And thank goodness it’s Friday Talking In a pleading voice With still faces in a picture frame I wish it was your heart had been broken Not mine. Standing suddenly Rocking my desk chair back against the wall I decide that a cigarette Is the answer to the pain in my chest So I grab my lighter And an inhaler And go Out into soft night A smoke shield against affliction. No doctor here Just a really ornery asthmatic With a death wish. Putting out the light against pavement I withdraw to the house To curl tightly round my sleeping dog. Pale fur on black clothing Canine snoring. The pain continues Beneath meat and muscle Driving past bone. I begin to wonder if it is really there Or just another figment Of diseased mind. Holding conversations in my head I begin to fear That soon I will hear answers. One more straw And the bale will split wide open Spilling its contents like a wound Mold infested And likely to cause colic. My skin crawls And I feel sure that any moment My skin will burst wide open Like a Sci-fi thriller scene And something alien will be revealed. I am as sure as the arrogance of youth can make me I am poisonous And as unfit for this world As a divine mistake could make me. I try to hold a pattern But I cannot keep my grip And it falls apart around me A crumbled Ragged mess. Being perverse I enjoy the way they scatter about me The now loose pieces The dusty entrails Collecting dust. Holding my head in my hands I am amazed at its size Its heavy roundness. I feel absurd Like a bobblehead doll. I find myself wishing King Henry would chance by And do me a favor. Relieve me of my ridiculous burden. Fondling the suede ears Of an old dog I listen to the labored whuffle of his breathing And envy him his age And the surety Of his doggie life. Someday I may know this too The slowing of my blood through my veins The toiling of my heart In an aging body Though that is unsure as anything I do not say it aloud My secret fears My private prayer I do not wish to tempt the future. Today is enough And tomorrow will be what it is Regardless. I give up on holding to a scheme The rhythm is in me And comes through Despite the lack of purpose. Story of my life— Accidental providence. Things work out eventually. Hopefully. Probably. Hold my breath and wait and see. I wish I could just stop writing. It does me no good. Just makes me loathe myself more.