I am afraid in the cold sweat clutch of deep night
when my heart panics desperately in my chest
that life is nothing more
than a swirl of dust throughout space,
forever growing colder and distant
till nothing can be shared with anything
I am afraid that my arms will strain
my aching fingers to grab lifeless sand from
the dusty burlap bag of dreams.
Grit will dig under my fingernails, grating nerves
as my mouth tastes ash, and I disintegrate;
flaking, cracking, pieces fall like pebbles
swirling in a cloud till nothing.
I am afraid that true will be Whitman’s tragedy
of a quiet desperation mumbling gibberish.
That the rooftops will not only not hear my yawp,
but they will remain unattainable, with steep gables,
cold winds, and ice slick betrayed dreams.
And the sounds I make with be muffled by my pillow
Causing no stir in the heart or ripple among man.
from The Refrigerator Door collection.