“No pain, no gain,” I hear them say…

much to my dismay, I’m forced to feel
it despite my nerve endings being frayed
I pray… and then I stop because
in my mind’s eye, I’ve recited this prayer
a billion times and the deity I submit requests to
has far too many people ahead of me in the pecking order
to get through.

…and I’m not selfish enough to jump the queue.

Believe me, I want to.
Fuck, I want to stop the damn world and tell everyone to bore off.
I want to uncurl from this forsaken foetal position
I want to wash these miserable sheets that
blanket my brain
guess you can say I’m mentally bed-ridden
Best bit is that there’s no cure for the
ailment I’ve been given
just temporary reprieves via a frantic liquid siege
drowning my psyche as my liver cries out “Are you doing this to spite me?!!”
I reply “Shut up, asshole…” and recommence my search
for momentary solace
the kind you can only find at the bottom
of pint glasses; tumblers of whiskey; and cognac bottles

…and I’m supposed to give a toss about the war outside?

I’m not blind but I can’t see
anything outside of the struggle within me
an acrid invisible smoke threatening
to withdraw my ability to breathe normally
my deep limbic system is a bullet riddled trench
while you see me as calm as an undetonated bomb
beneath it all, I’m anxious for whatever’s next
this life is hardly liberating when
the pursuit for happiness is this draining

but on and on, I tread…

feeling a lot less than one
never mind one hundred percent
as distant as that light at the end of the tunnel is
on and on, I tread…
the myriad of times I’ve had my faith
replaced with immeasurable dread
still on and on, I tread…

because despite every brick on this path
shouting out about how much I’ve failed and whom,
this tunnel will not be my tomb
yes, I’m that hell bent to slay these monsters
only then can I revel in my success.

On and on, I tread…
on and on, I tread…

Image(photography by yours truly)