Breathless

Panic stations
The conductor’s missing
And this train’s gone off the rails
Pupils in dilation
No light, just chemical
Exhale

Lost to temptation
Scrambled information
Inhale

A Bullet punctures the basion
Sanity’s cost of living
Mental hangnail
Torn off
Breathing fails

The Trickster and the Fool

Grief is a trickster, an emotional succubus in the guise of an elegant belle encouraging you to stay with her for a moment, to feed her your hurt. Catharsis for the soul transforms into codependency. She is the head of Algol, unable to survive without you, and so you continue to wane, living in her orbit a brief while longer. You birth an ocean of tears and lay amongst the shifting sands of your heart, never settled. Between despair and mania, a rage that forges steel, creating gargantuan jet-black monoliths to remind you of your loss.

The mask slips and her crooked smile follows you wherever you go. Her whispers taunt you long into the night, she is inescapable. Her claws etch into your skin the sacred commandments:

You will worship me

You shall not love

You will fall with me

You shall not laugh

You will give your soul to me

You shall not live

You become a slave to Grief, it infects and clouds all rationale. Memories warp and rearrange themselves in accordance with Her plan. Distractions for the mind while the body exhausts itself. In the blink of an eye, you’ve built a world together while chasing a false horizon. Maybe, in secret, you hope to reach the other side of the shore, where colour seeps into the nothingness and even Grief’s insidious warmth can’t touch.


Wondering how much time has passed in this mire is insanity unto itself. Time is a social construct. It existed before we gave a name upon it; we defined it—A way to measure the past, the present and the future. An ever forward march, once so predictable becomes indecipherable. You are here, but there is no now. Just an ever expanding darkness with you at the centre. No longer troubling yourself with its unfathomable size. Only one question lingers: is this it?

***

Then it comes—an unseen hand tipping the scales in your favour. The sun brushes against the horizon. A feast of colour emerges; watermelon with swirls of peach and honey. The sky a kaleidoscope of butterscotch and bubblegum. And the warmth, so considerate of your skin as a mother does when swaddling her newborn. To see this golden dawn racing across the land, illuminating the sorrow and melting away the shards of suffering you’ve so dutifully collected. Several crystalise and shatter, dispersing and lodging themselves into the many fissures of your mind. Too resilient to disappear but well-hidden, a mere regretful reminder for a future you.

At last, the pain softens, and your chest loosens. The relief in taking that first breath and savouring how divine it tastes. A choir of synapses sing in harmony. Thoughts, dreams, and experiences flood into you. This isn’t it. There is more, so much more. You raise your arms and roar at Grief that you have the power to change, to grow, and take a tentative step into the unknown. Grief has stripped so much from you and you’ve clawed back so much. Only one thing remains:

Hope.

A world outside Grief exists, along with others who have carried the weight of loss and are on the same journey as you. Reach out to them, connect, be the first to trace a new path so others may pursue.

Your future is no longer tied to Grief. She will perish and be reborn as something different as you too shall rise again.

In life, nothing is eternal, so treasure the here and now.