Pain surrounds me and leaves me fitful
While exhaustion grips me, but will not
Let me enter sleep.
I do not even want to
Lift my limbs to stand.
I lay in bed half in dream
And half awake, wondering how long
This invasion will shred me
Like a coarse knife bluntly
Making one stroke after another,
At my joints and digestive tract
Till I feel like a ghost haunting a grave.
My body is not my body
It is bracken and whipped
By spirits in the house of demons.
In this night hell has found me.
Glass after glass of water
Crosses my lips.
You would think it would drown me.
My belly is swollen like a child
With no food and painful to touch.
I meditate. I meditate deeply
To the rise of my temperature
To the sound of water leaving me
To the noises singing through my stomach
Uncontrollably bearing down on me–
But this is not childbirth.
Yet, I meditate on light over darkness.
And the light comes, and I remember
Who I am, while slowly pain ceases.
Maybe tomorrow the smell of food
Will once again beguile me.