We live in temporary spaces,
Our lives are turned corners of a page.
We breathe at the whim of a body
Over which we have only rudimentary control.
Love is fleeting,
Like a joke told a thousand years ago
That still echoes faintly in the room.
And here, now, when sex and intimacy
Are as legitimate and real
As Heaven and Hell to an atheist,
Is where I exist.
I exist at the whim of a mad god
Who lives inside my brain,
Who commands my body
And distributes my pain.
Like all atheists, I believed in him once,
And that was my mistake
I press my face to the glass
And watch the world go by
Stiff fingers leave marks of desolation
Marring the wall with my presence.
It is not my world out there
It is not my life I see.
Not my life I ache to touch,
To taste, to breathe in deeply.
The world outside is vibrant,
Joyful, full of passion.
A merry-go-round of song and fun
Laughter and high spirits.
The ticker tape rain beats
A mocking drum on my window.
No, it is not my world out there.
I don’t belong with them
Those happy, shiny people.
The glass cage surrounds me
Keeps me apart, alone.
The glass cage is my world;
Cold, sterile, joyless.
I can shout and I can scream
Snarl and gnash and rage
Throw myself against glass walls
Cry at the injustice of it all.
In the end it does no good
There’s no-one here to hear
There’s only me. My four walls.
And the people outside?
Those brightly lambent souls?
They cannot help me
They cannot see, you see?
Can’t look behind the glass
And see the real me
They see what they want to see;
A reflection of me.
A reflection of them.
Outside the box.
In the very early hours,
as I watch somniferous tendrils
of smoke rise from my cigarette,
I feel the grip of loneliness.
That tangible feeling of its arms
wrapped about me,
like a lover who could not care less,
the reluctant hug of a stranger.
It presses against my body
with an insistent grip
meant to suffocate,
it never wants to let go.
I long for someone to replace it,
peel away its vice like grip,
and hold me tenderly.