Pain that Devours 

This afternoon, the description I gave someone of great pain and suffering was as if being devoured from the inside out. It is often the case when we fight to breathe through a mask few ever peak behind and become terrified of the vulnerable place when they do get a glimpse. We shut down, we run, we try to hide… we know we can’t heal so we try not to let it ooze onto others. We convince ourselves the sooner we disappear, the sooner they can forget the wretchedness we brought to mind. The disgust, the disappointment, the mistake we were. But in the midst of the slow departure, we can find ourselves consumed in the fire of hopelessness, unable to change the trajectory. We are fearful of those who seem to know hope, because though we long for that hope to invade the dark, surround us, pick us up and refuse to let us go… experience tells us that kind of hope can’t be found, it isn’t real and it never lasts, for us.

Pain That Devours 

It waits for me
and – sometimes it doesn’t. 
Sometimes it chases, invades 
or pulls me out from the hiding place.

This thing, that memory, those feelings, 
like predators they stalk –
Calculated, cold.
Waiting for the right time time to feast.
Many have entered, few leave 
No matter where I run, 
No sign of reprieve 

This thing, that memory, those feelings 
The crippling ache that devours me from the inside, 
refusing to let go, 
showing no signs of mercy. 
It rips apart organs and tissue and flesh 
Pulling my heart through its oubliette
Hidden from sight, too egregious for common eye – 
Truth veiled by facade, 
Armor, protecting
Humor deflecting 
Minimizing anguish

Until the shroud becomes thick enough
Tight enough 
Secure enough 
the final mask is placed – 
dirt on the eyes, 
dirt on my heart
Tallit sliced to be used no more
Living Jhator –
Worthless –
except to be used for their filling 
Consumed then expelled 
The rest of my living


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