i keep thinking

I keep thinking, when I stumble through the dark at night, walking into the pitch-black of the bathroom, foggy from sleeping pills, that, in the mirror, as I pull the cord and the light bursts on, I might see my face deteriorating and distorted, or, between us, a twisted contortion of a young girl with a dirty weave of black, clumped hair, and cracked, pale face bleeding black blood and a human smile a human smile a genuine teethy smile in its skeletal frame with lips rotted away and eyes that I see looking at me over the sunken wound of an amputated nose leaking pustulated globs looking at me why stop stop looking at me oh god and a low inhuman groan and a thumping on and on with the rotting walls peeling away into a swampy overgrown green tangle

stumbling out, turning the light off again, heading back to bed, floorboards creaking underfoot, and feeling the prescription in my bottom jaw, and in the back of my mouth: an anaesthetising, metallic streak seeming to slide halfway down my throat.

I keep thinking.

this side of the mattress is not the sleeping surface

This began as a poem, and I’ve since re-purposed it as song lyrics:

I can’t feel the very bones holding me together,

the wobbling skeletal gel

of congealed soul-juice.

Or

The cantankerous, sickly curvature of a face with

eyes that see too much, like a shibboleth

of the 21st Century dream.

The yellowed white sheets are made up

of burns and wounds, decomposing remains, disregarded

in the rising smoke.

Its plumes of retreat and remand.