Awake as darkness drops its velour curtain over the world, calling forth memories
and demons from the well of the subconscious and soul. It tastes your fear, palpable
behind the curtain and inside your tears. Tearing yourself apart and
Awake. Again. Cyclical construct, lighthouse beacon in an infinite
loop, irregular as the trains. Memories are real and near-no;
here. In the night, in the room, in the bed lie the dead. You or them.
Awake. Alert in a haze of alcohol and Ambien and opiates.
Blankets suffocating smothering drawing out chemical-laden
sweat and memories of then. Enemies in the wire! Open fire and die
Awake. Thumping and shaking in rhythm with the rivers’ current
crossing time, space, memories. Blending all into a continuous contiguous
stream of screams pain and gore. Steer into the skid searching for solace in sleep or when
Awake. Blood in my eyes, fear inside, rage behind the cry
that escapes from the past. It’s here and now holding me tight and smothering me
or maybe it’s you crying at last, whispering promises as hollow and meaningless
as the future, if it should arrive.
Patrick Klinger is a senior accounting major, member of the Army Reserves, and works as an auditor with KPMG in Harrisburg. His poem “Steer into the Skid” won Best Poem for the 2014-2015 issue.