Wasted years

At the end of the day, the
joints flare-up, and the body
hurts, the fingers, spindle-shaped
and the toes, warm, the gut, a ball
of pain. I have a condition I
won’t name, but I think
the weight of wasted years
pressing down
increases its intensity. Weeds and
thornbushes; slate and coal;
sewers and slushy streets;
shattered glass and obsidian.
Relationships based on
visions of future togetherness
under bluish dawns or
make-believe handholding
in the twilight augmented by
the crepitating cicadas,
tied up and force-fed
spoonfuls of ugly, brownish
madness every minute,
gloomy, high ceilinged rooms with
specialists dissecting my
psyche while I scream,
“I’m not crazy! I’m not ill!”
Love, a whisper like
a thin ray of light
in the corner of a musty attic,
lust, making the eyes
burn bright orange:
an insatiable need to control
and possess.
I promised myself that I
wouldn’t write another poem
scalded by self-loathing,
but here I am, brooding again,
an unprincipled mind riddled
with images of ruination –
Chernobyl, ash, broken
television screens, dog-eared
books, cracked porcelain vases,
brown teeth, wires entangled,

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