trapped in a loop while screaming silently for release

lately i’ve been having night terrors

they always start the same

a knock on the door

i look through the peephole and see her standing there

she looks like she did the day she left

i open the door and she smiles that big smile

the genuine one

she hugs me tightly before i can say a word

she comes in

tells me she was wrong

it ended badly

it was all her fault

she actually apologizes

and i want to believe her


she says all the right things

the words i need to hear

we kiss and i feel like i have been stuck in the desert for a decade without water

and she is the cooling stream

reinvigorating me

i fall into her lapping waves

the edges blur

time elapses

she’s pregnant

swollen belly and looks miserable and radiant like only a woman with child can pull off

i’m talking to her

not her but the growing wonder inside of her

and she kicks her little leg in response


the hospital


first day of school


one big happy family


streaks of gray in her auburn hair

laugh lines and wrinkles like a road map to bliss


i’m on a bed in a hospital

she and the kids

now adults with kids of their own

gathered around me

teary faces

the beeping on the machine grows slower

she leans in and kisses me on the cheek and whispers

it’s okay to sleep

we love you

you were the rock that kept us together

took care of us until the very end

but you’re so very tired and deserve this rest

so sleep my love

sleep until we are together again

and i close my oh so heavy eyes as the sobs of the ones i cherished more than this fleeting life say farewell

then my eyes snap open

i’m in the car

driving home

an odd sense of deja vu comes over me

the same feeling of impending doom that occurred over a year ago

i press the skip button and what it dew by grieves comes on

but I don’t sing along as this itch forms in the back of my brain

something screams this is wrong

this isn’t my car

it’s hers

and then it dawns on me like the first shockwave of a nuclear detonation

my mind screams but my body moves of its own accord

i’ll open the door and the apartment will be half empty

she’ll be sitting on the couch with her brother

she won’t rise to hug me

she’s leaving

i’ll ask why

bet her to reconsider

she’ll drive away

i don’t pay attention to the details of it

we speak in silence as i try to wake myself

eventually it flashes to me in bed for the third straight day

that goddamned ceiling speaking to me

the words i had ignored for the last couple years beginning to whisper

it’ll be two months before i give in

two more before i write my first poem in twelve years

and i know all of this

then i finally



and when i open my eyes

a knock on the door

trapped in a loop


3 thoughts on “trapped in a loop while screaming silently for release

  1. Damn. There’s an awful lot going on there… I’m sorry that you’re dealing with night terrors, no matter the subject matter. My wish tonight for you, Mike, is that you sleep and sleep well.

    Liked by 1 person

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