New Poem: “What If I Never…”

I was looking at myself in the mirror. The feeling from last night didn’t seem to have been an accurate representation of my body after all. I didn’t seem to be melting, or dissipating. I looked exactly the same as yesterday. Firm and slim. Somewhat muscular – although that isn’t saying much when you have practically no body fat.

I certainly seemed sturdy and lasting. Then why didn’t I feel like it?

The nightmare was still buzzing in the back of my mind, and I was powerless to will it away. That feeling of clawing onto the ground while being pulled apart by tidal forces… That feeling of slowly disintegrating into fluids…

I tell myself that I am here, but what do I know, really? I could be wrong. I could be dreaming, imagining, hallucinating the whole thing… I look solid but I don’t feel it – so which is correct? What my senses tell me, or what my head does?

Who is to say? Who gets to decide which is most important? I’d say the feeling – but since I am the only one who can feel it, I know that other people would consider it ridiculous and so there is no point in attempting to explain the matter to them. They cannot understand. They will not try.

I slide the door to the closet open, halfway expecting my hand to melt when it touches the wood. Halfway disappointed that it doesn’t. It would be so much easier if that could really happen, wouldn’t it? Just dissipate. No longer here. No longer visible to other people. No more worries about what they think – what they hear – what they see. Just nothing. Peace. That’s what peace is, isn’t it? Absence. Lack of struggle. And since my entire life is a struggle, that would equate to death in my case. Necessarily.

But I don’t melt. For some reason, every part of my body seems to be completely, infuriatingly functional even though it feels nothing like it.

Published By: K-M Skalkenæs

Danish poet, writer and painter. Writings include her own original poetry in English and Danish, and translations of poetry from the Scandinavian languages and German into English.

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