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The Involuntary State of Being




Insomnia, 4 AM.

I get your text.


“What’s up?”


(I should have known better.)

You almost did it,

But like me,

You’re still here.

They found you and

You tried to get away,

But where would you go?

You tell me no one cares,

You can’t see it just yet,

You will.


One day.


You’re dreamless now,

Haldol drips in your arm.


I know how it feels to be alone

In an off-green room,

Screaming in the dim hallways

With the others who can’t see

The world through their own eyes.

I am like you,

But I’m on the outside

Beneath your brick walls.


The hospital smell,

The psych evals,

The paperwork,

The med changes,

(Always the changes),

Sleepless nights alone,

Sweating, cold, disoriented,

Watching the sky emerge

Grey at 7 AM.

The decaf won’t work.

The eggshell scrubs don’t fit.

Your white socks pad on the

Hard smooth floor.

The drugs might work in a month.

You’re scared in your own way –

Scarred, but still here,

Wishing it weren’t so,

Wishing to be gone.


Hemingway said

“The sun also rises,”

And it will rise for you again.

Not today, not this month,

But it will,

Just as the sea

Rolls on

As it has for

Ten million years.


You are the sea,

La Mer.


But you won’t listen to me.

You hate yourself

And the things you do,

So I sit, sleepless, hoping

Your feelings die without you.

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