Personal, Poetry

2017

the sights of 2017

the grey sofa covered in grey blankets, and grey me lying there greyly
half-stripped wallpaper
a purple laptop with flickering screen, nestling amongst white bedclothes
a piano covered in dustsheets
plants at the end of the bath, fronds dangling near my toes
the glaring bright of the bathroom light: an attack
my face in the mirror, a white death mask
hospital monitors
candle flames
and smoke rising from a cauldron.

the sounds of 2017

the cat chirruping in pain, then scraping the floor with her claws
strange rumblings from my internal depths (and once, I thought, a beep?)
crashing and buzzing as I was trying to sleep
my heartbeat throbbing in my left ear
bath water running and draining in a near-constant cycle
the toilet flush
the unwelcome doorbell
the buzzes and beeps of hospital machinery
and finally, at the end, my voice: able to sing again.

the smells of 2017

acrid
bitter
disgusting.
two bodies: one human, one feline; both saying “something is wrong”
my senses switched: flowers smelled like rotting meat
anything not bland was overwhelming
but now, in December: palo santo to clear the air.

the taste of 2017

rotten
twisted
wrong.
my tastebuds misaligned
water tasted like goats’ milk; chicken like mangoes
nothing was as it seemed
and I lived in a topsy-turvy world where up was down
and what should have stayed down came up.
at last, in December, it returned: the ability to taste correctly
and I had my first cheese this year: a melting roquefort
and my tastebuds near exploded with pleasure.

the feel of 2017 

something’s wrong.
skin burning like it was on fire, not wanting anything to touch it
insides twisting kamikaze-style
and I tried to twist myself to their shape to lessen the pain
slipping under the skin of the warm bath water again and again
hoping it would help.
holding a hot water bottle and not caring if it burned
because the outside burning numbed the inside burning
for a bit at least.
needles piercing my veins, giving and taking away
strange medicinal concoctions coursing through me, temporary relief
a fuzz in my brain from all the pills
and fevers and retchings and chills.
the bathroom floor cold as I curled up on it
scratchy towel against my face, too exhausted to care.
my insides rushing outside, and just when I was sure there was nothing left,
rushing some more.
but finally, in December,
a welcome emptiness I’d never felt –
who knew you could so keenly feel a lack of pain? –
summed up mainly in two simple syllables:
relief.

find 2016’s end of year poem here

1 thought on “2017”

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