Brief Encounter with Life

I know life.
How it goes limp,
Half-hearted, stumbling alongside me
Until I’m dragging it by the arm
Like a drunk friend I promised I’d get home safe tonight.
I rattle off each reason
Why it’s a sinking ship
And I don’t mind being on board.
Sometimes it leans on my shoulder
And smacks its lips
Until the sound rings in my ears
Like loose static
Shaken from the nearest television set.
Sometimes it chases me up trees
And keeps me there until the wolves go home.
You should know my eyelids are drooping
With the weight it takes to write this.
Sleep wants to carry me from these words
Like a stranger at the market trying to grab my hand
And lead me away from mommy.
You should know life has
Still got me by the shirt collar.
Tripping over itself, half hallucination,
It raises its face to mine
And with breath reeking of alcohol
Says, “Take me as I am.”
And I do.
I take it by the hand
And lead it to the bathtub,
Wash the smudged mascara from its eyes
And the dried vomit from its hair.
I lead it to the bed
And pull the covers over its waist
Like we will forget this tomorrow
But we will not.
Because I can see it clearly now.
The parts of its skin starting to sag in,
Where its teeth have gone yellow,
How its cheeks have deflated
Like popped balloons
And I’m holding the needle.
I look life in the eyes,
Those slow somber orbs
Spinning on some axis I can’t see,
And I tell it the only thing I can:

I tell it I will see it
In the morning.

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21 thoughts on “Brief Encounter with Life

  1. Wow! How is it that you’ve noticed that life is like this already. Run as fast as you can back to childhood. Ooops… too late. Life has caught you.

    Keep writing, my friend.
    Alice

  2. I love the way you gave Life it’s own identity in this piece. It really works. I always look forward to your posts…because they are ALWAYS awesome. If you haven’t already, you may want to share your work with dVerse Poet’s Pub, just a friendly, encouraging place to share poetry.:)

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I look forward to your comments – because they’re always so kind and insightful! Thank for you the dVerse Poet’s Pub recommendation, I’m definitely going to check it out.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. i like your likes … like loose static .. like a stranger at the market … like, will we forget tomorrow …. woweewow … funny, interesting, thought provoking and more … wide open for all kinds of interpretations …. like … who am i to say anything is great but … wull … this was really great … ! ks

      1. I do so love the word “frayed.” 🙂 I think it works well in your poem – adds a bit more substance to the image.

        Thanks, Joanna! I’m always so happy when you like a poem.

  4. There’s this kind of encounter with this kind of life, yes, and you put it so well. On another day, not necessarily tomorrow morning, but sooner or later, I hope, there will come an encounter with a different kind of life, a life who’s in much better shape, and brief or otherwise, I’m sure you’ll capture and evoke it just as ably.

  5. I’ve come back to check I haven’t missed any of your posts (as I’ve been sticking to myself for a while) and I had to reread this poem because its energy jumped out at me again. You have always written very powerful poetry, and my kind of poetry. Wishing you all the best for Christmas.
    Peter

    1. There’s nothing I love more than hearing someone thought my poem worth a reread. Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and think more about it. Your comments are often the fuel that keeps the “writing fire” burning 🙂

      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, as well!

      Natalie

Thoughts? I love those.

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