I had a stroke. Not the traditional medical sort.
I heard the death rattle all those years ago; earliest
self-sign of a brain on the very brink.
OCD and the suicidal undertow. How does a boy
read those coded clues?
mental illness, my forever companion, swaddled
in society’s denial; treated like a stench to follow me
each day of my time, trailing the walking corpse/ breathing shell
Did you really want to annihilate me?
All those years barking at a television camera:
RED LIGHT ON.
passing for normal. My paralyzed brain hidden in studio lights
behind pancake face. A living artifact. You old war horse.
“Cue the son of a bitch.”
“Talk! You ancient queen.”
At dusk, the birds are old men crying. I embrace the sound.
night’s approach. (purple fingers squeezing away the light)
Thank you Lithium for the gift.
Thank you for saving my life—hanging only by a flimsy filament—
on the decided approach to the great mystery of “muerte.”
Death by inert gas: the sure thing. Done deal.
My goodbye? the oxygen scoured from my lungs and vessels.
So many years in brambles and nettles. Bloodied. Beaten down.
I am still on the move.