Forty-Five Minutes

Forty-Five Minutes
JCD KERWIN

One, two, three a.m. and I’m staring, blinking, glaring at the ceiling like I’ve got a grudge against the shadows. Tossing and turning makes the stitch in my side itch. I have to lie straight to keep myself from screaming but I can’t dream think the right way without shoving pillows over my face.

Must refuse to move
until
the pain stops and
my heartbeats
d
r
o
p.

[Maybe if
I crush these tabs,
they’ll last a little longer,
be a little stronger;
make me
a little better at
not being me.]

The guy behind the desk says I’m supposed to believe in myself. I sink farther into the couch and wonder why upholstery’s always more plush in small rooms even though you’re never in the mood to sit still.

(I tell him I like the paintings of the Ming Dynasty Treasure Ships. They came with the office, he says. None of them ever know where the pictures come from.)

It all goes back
to my childhood:
where my family
went did wrong.

Separate yourself.
Cut yourself off
from everything
that hurts you.

He says.

Easier said
than done.

I say.

And the other guy throws pills at me, changing his mind with each visit. He can’t decide what makes
me messed up
inside.

Neither can I.

[Which is why I
line up orange bottles
in Chess lines,
like they’re pawns and I
am running from
the pugilist glove
that will crush me if
I don’t keep ahead of
the other me’s
next move.]

I am unimpressed with the depression of my facial expression. It gets quite old. But I don’t know how to climb out from puddles I rained out all alone.

He tells me plenty of people have sat where I sat, feeling hopeless, but they dug out, just like I will. I ask when that will be…

Right now I’m spelunking in the dark.

(October 2015)

Burnt Socks

abandoned Laundromat at Night 2008 Laurie Nix

Burnt Socks

JCD Kerwin

I lost a friend
today.
We were
in separate boxes,
never looking
at eachother.
We were
content to be
separate planets
orbiting suns
in opposite ends
of the galaxy.
We were
never meant
to be
anything more
than pennies and dimes
mixed in a vending machine,
lost in time
to be change for
some grass heads’ four-twenty munchies.
Yet I
still feel guilt
for letting you go,
even though
I  know
we would never have been
anything more
than two
mismatched socks
lost in the back
of some old
laundromat.

July 2015

Rainbeats

There was jazz. And vodka. And the beginnings of a short story. Then this happened.

Rainbeats
JCD Kerwin

Take my heartbeats.
Take them with the raindrops
when they fall.

Keep them as they roll
off your black umbrella;
catch them in your palm,
and lay them on your lips
so that my soul may kiss
you once more.

Listen to the thunder;
imagine it’s my heart
exploding as it says,
“I love you,”
in ways words never can.

Imagine it is me
in the rain,
when you toss all night
in summer.
I will cool you with mist,
like it’s my fingertips,
and we are beneath the stars
again.

Take my heartbeats.
Take them with the raindrops
and forget about the sun.

June 2015

heart palpitations

Once upon a time I went through all these tests just to have this doc. say my arrhythmia is “normal.”…

heart palpitations
jcd kerwin

i think
my second cup
of coffee is
flavored with
abjection.
it reflects my thoughts and
the listless thumping of
my heart.

blasting tunes
is useless and
all these books
just make me hurt
for things that can’t be true.
i daydream instead;
i live in my head
to keep from drowning in
this world.

yet, there’s no running,
no hiding from
the faces and places
of my nightmares.
this caffeine only succeeds
in vanishing
anyway.

(October 2014)