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  • By Ryan Oliveira

The Anxious Man's Prayer


Struck by a dawn’s assassin:

Spasms in my stomach.

Blunting breath after breath.

A hive of goosebumps roosting

in my skin.

I dreamed my mother appeared,

Front and center in my queer show.

Her disdain, bitter to a tea,

Turning kidney stones to sediment.

Calcified on a cross, I rock in my sheets.

Frozen, unable to form phrases,

Unable to one foot then the other:

Parada. There goes my day again.

I’m scheduled for an ultrasound.

No matter how warm or soothing the gel,

It will fail to pick up the pedras

Embedded in my spastic gastrum.

Diagnosed with an erosive reflux.

Pantoprazole’s no cure-all,

Nor Xanax or maximum strength

Excedrin – no medicine will mend me.

There is no end, I’m reminded,

Other than the end I find myself.

Cuddle up, cowboy. Eat me like

A buttercup. Forget me not.

My lullaby is a love-dove:

Doze most of the day, the night,

The next to fight. And then

Rinse, repeat, refrain:

Try again.


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Ryan Oliveira

Ideas.  I'm full of them.

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