05/25/2011 12:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Poetry: All the Apathetic Monsters


Image courtesy of Gideon Chase

All the Apathetic Monsters

Arms extended limply. Back and shoulders
drooping. Once you die and come back,

you weigh more. Mobility is challenging.
Time flows around you, torrential,

and you always walk against it, all of
your carcass lurching forward. Plodding

steps are still progress, you remind yourself,
and you do continue to inspire fear, shrieks

darting from the women's mouths like snakes
in and out of the reeds. Some days you miss

your brain, how it showed you faces and
scenes when you were lonely. And having eyes,

you wish for eyes that open and then close,
pausing experience in personal darkness.

Funny thing about being undead. You are
more fragile than ever, extremely flammable

and they always hear your approach. All the
apathetic monsters moan and wheeze, heave

oxygen into sand-dry throats. It's never enough,
because you do not need air. This is the worst part.

You crave respiration, and in the spot inside you
where your lungs used to be, there is an ache

more throbbing than hunger, and never will
it end, eternal. And to think, they call this outliving.