Some Day This Pain Will Be Useful to You

When an assault begins
carefully note what assails you
note surrounding temperature
a slant of light
the cat curled in the corner
gradually becoming aware
with the flicker of a furry ear
that something is amiss.

slow down your thoughts
or simply stop them altogether
become an observer
be a gaping eye
take it all in
but be careful not to process.

note the passage of time
the second hand no longer sweeps the dial
it crawls, instead, oblivious
while sanity lies in the balance.

become aware of the elementary fury
of carefully selected words
aimed to harm
the treachery of alphabet
and the hiss of enunciation
leaving a fine mist
that hangs in the air.

close heavy eyelids
softly touch a familiar object
preferably one nearby
watch all reason recede
in fact, it has gone on long enough without you.

I work in a large university by day, but weekends
and evenings are devoted to fiction and poetry.
My work has been published in Verbsap, 3711
Atlantic, Moondance, Springfed, Philadelphia Poets
and upcoming in GreyBorders.

2006 Underground Voices