BY TAYLOR DRABICK
I am an astronaut jettisoned out to space,
floating silently in the distant black.
An explorer in the wilderness,
watching a shaky torchlight dim with each breath.
A wounded soldier in the trenches,
crying faintly into the darkness.
At times I feel so helpless,
overwhelmed by static screaming in my head.
The rage of the world around me.
Impermanence and imperfection looming distantly.
I am swallowed up by responsibilities and pain.
Poison fills my body, stealing it away.
Slowly drifting into black and white,
the world loses its colors,
fading like an old movie on tape
when the cassette would unravel.
And there I’m greeted by a familiar presence,
a paw outstretched in the growing hopelessness.
A long-suffering friend and companion.
A dog, as dark as the devil herself,
she barks me awake in the middle of the night,
gnaws my bones until they ache with exhaustion,
stands too close to me at the intersection of the street,
nosing me closer to the edge.
I know that nothing is forever in this world,
but she lingers alongside me.
Always trailing in the distance,
larger with each silent footfall.
She will find her home once again,
laying on my chest as I gasp in pain,
her weight suffocating me.
I gaze into the mirror and see a cage.
The dog stands behind me,
commanding me to look.
Falling to the floor,
my tears stream gently onto her coat,
seeping into the darkness.
She slides me the scissors.
I want to remove some pieces
Living doesn’t always mean dying,
alone and scared.
I know when the days grow long,
and the static roars once again,
my friend will creep beside me,
whispering in the dark.