Alaysha Harden

Head down, the shower water runs in between strands of my hair and down my back,

A few droplets escape, caressing my brow and the tip of my nose,

I wait, taking a deep breath in,

And out,

Focusing on the sound of the water hitting the floor and at times filling my ears,

It’s deafening, Deep breath in and out,

But it isn’t helping,

The pain at the base of my neck reaches up, and tickles my scalp,

Like when cold hands touch warm water, the delicate static of pain and relief,

It burns through my skull, like a spark in dry brush.

I have to make sure my hair isn’t singeing off, knowing that the water could never put out this wildfire.

I wait for my medicine to kick in,

Not able to remember if I have taken it already, that part of my reality... of my memory is already burning away. How long have I been in the shower?

My thoughts are racing, but in a pit of quicksand, how can I move so fast, yet sink into my own oblivion of pain.

Get out.

I float to my room unable to feel anything other than the weight of my brain.

Did i try the little white pill already, or did i take one of the powder ones, have i taken over 2 already in 24 hours, or is it just shy of the 25th hour, ready for another,

What about the white pills that are coated in red in the white bottle with a bold explanation of “Extra Strength”, yet no matter how many i take, it’s the equivalent to dropping them into an empty drain,

I feel nothing, but the pain as my throat gets tight, and my hands began to shake.

My world begins to blur, and i cant tell if im crying or if its a neurological episode,

The ones where the pain is so high that my body gives up on doing anything other than laying in a dark room begging to fall asleep.

The ringing in my ears settles in.

My voice foreign and distant, circling around the same question I, ever so often, fall back on.

“Why me?”

And it’s not that I actually hate anything about myself,

I just hate the pain more than the condition,

Each time it reaches a new level of pain, and my threshold is pushed back again,

I fold within myself, wondering if it’s normal, or a fatal sign I missed,

I wait,

Whether everlasting darkness or the pain subsiding,

I know it’ll end eventually.

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