the danger of surviving

When I heard the shout, the crash, the loud

My veins burst with fire and panic.

I leapt to my feet straight over the seat

Of the recliner, without bothering to close it.

I was already cycling through emergency mode,

Preparing my eyes for the blood they would see.

I was ready to reassure, to assist, to prevent

death

Fueled with panic-flames lapping up from my feet

Then he spoke after the cry, said, it’s okay,

I’m fine,

it was the dog that knocked something down.

I crumbled back down, my chest a vacuum

Where breath was remiss to return.

I hate that my life has been trauma so many times

But if it meant saving their lives, or protecting them in crisis

I would shoulder a thousand more panic-fires.

Though someday, I hear, they build up and the fear

Is nothing compared to the smoke.

If you’re not careful, the burning will fill up your person,

And the world will all feel the same,

And despite the extinguishers, despite the protectors,

you’ll never smell anything but flames.

stuck

There is a tension in waiting

for a blow that never comes;

Your body, crumbled to posturing

perched upon your splintered throne.

 

There are eyes tired of searching,

yet unable to close for rest;

There are lungs squeezed shallow from filtering

the quietest possible breaths.

 

There is loss multiplied by loss

in the fight to never be knocked down again;

There are waves that will never drown you, yet

you cannot ever risk submerging for a swim.

 

There is knowledge of inky black

which no one can pretend not to see;

There are stains of morbid red

where your heart rips open (every other beat.)

 

There is an exquisite agony

in never feeling home;

It does damage, it curries questions

that should never be asked.

 

You cannot learn to thrive and love

when your alertness

your caution

your awareness

when your panic will never relax

Trastorno

Fear is

The unwillingness to cut my fingernails

Lest I be without a weapon.

Expecting everyone to hurt me

With every passing second.

Trauma is

Unbridled rage when someone is flippant about the two ton metal monster they command with the twist of a wheel.

Catastrophic thought is

The absolute assurance that someone is dead

When they don’t pick up the phone.

PTSD is not

Being careless with emotions; immature and loud

Over-sensitivity because of insecurity

Or disliking certain sounds

Post traumatic stress is

Sweating through your decaying dreams

Waking to silent, dehydrated screams

Covered in despair, certain the lives in your sleep would still be out there

If not for your own failure.

It’s

The inability to face that room

The panic that comes over you

When a movement doesn’t belong; someone’s behavior is jarring or

Wrong.

It’s bracing for blows that may never come

After so many years of not being ready and getting knocked down

You can’t bear the possibility

Of another blindside,

so you

Expect pain

And torment, crime

And death

And blood and fear and trauma

All. The. Time.