Suffer the Self
by Cam M. Roberts
All I’ve ever learned through breathing
are the limits to walking on land
as are the parameters of water and wind.
Striding along the crashing waves
with the tide pulling my coattails
in some old-fashioned hope
that I will submit to embrace
as it chokes the air out of my every follicle:
Those frothing bubbles impaling the surface,
O’ that muffled cry of panic
Released as gaseous orbs
Shuffling towards the bosom of sky.
That fear of splitting into foam
is closer to the brink than the scuttle
of twitching limbs
drowning and lost:
I wish to never be
What keeps me alive –
I cannot say what my purpose seems.
It only occurs as I lay dreaming of a new birth
through every savage eon of elements.
And like Eliot, I ponder
Do I dare… Do I dare…
Should I simply sink to the depths
Of my memory
When the descending darkness
Shrouds my eyes
Like a veil, a stigmata?
The marriage of time and absence
Strikes the hours of daybreak,
And I realize my solitude
In this unkempt bed.
And is it so tragic
That I should forget
The reveries and visions,
Or that I could care less
that every time
When I awaken
… that moment…
The threshold of firmament
from earth to heaven,
That I should sink through
the ocean floor,
And then I wonder if a gargled
scream would do me good.
I look up
From the sink
And stare harshly
into the mirror like some
wounded animal in absolution,
And say without a shred of evidence
That I am present, or in control of my wits:
Endure, just endure, stay still and silent, and endure…
I had no nightmares on that night, and slept quite profoundly.