THAT’S THE SOUND

Brueghel's "Two Monkeys"
Brueghel’s “Two Monkeys”

 

The stages of giving birth for the first time and

those of chronic PTSD seem to have

the same four elements

 

Persistent fear response or

realizing you might have to push and know you cannot

and so you hold it and shake

 

Hyperarousal or

everything you see and hear from the midwife

makes you want to waddle away or scratch her useless face off

 

Dissociation or

you give up and beg for sleep

their ultimatums sound like stoned angels in acting class

 

Disrupted attachment process or

we are two chained monkeys

staring at ends and beginnings with nowhere to go but out

 

Then there is a rock at last to beat to beat to beat the iron down

The googley-eyed new doctor came in with a vacuum

to make empty shriek better than full

 

We will hobble together like a chain gang

now that the window is empty again

and only Sam Cooke knows the sound of our walk

 

 

(This poem originally appeared in One Image: One Hundred Voices as part of the 2013 Global Flash Literature Project)

http://oneimage-onehundredvoices.com/?page_id=98

 

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