Rush past the gauze bush blossom
yellow on dark like explosive blasts frozen
by the shutter, and heat
from the windscreen, hand on wheel and stick
and control, machines working
as they should –

late to the doctors, chest heaving
boots pound past the cottage where
two decades past on friend’s bedroom
carpet I sleep, feeling
the radiator creak, tick
at 5am to life
along my spine. We trudge, crack
wise up the hill to school, marrow dark
dead trees mosaic
against late dawn.

Doc says the problem is the way I think
about the way I think.
My brain chemicals are buoyant,
whatever that means –
we’re in masks
his clinically crisp, clean, blue
mine dirty white, sagging cotton
some pattern on there to limply suggest
I am an individual.

“Do you feel excessively tearful? Weepy?” He asks
“No,” I reply
“Just numb.”

The office is pleasantly airy and bright
a spring breeze teases through the blinds
which clank like tiny bells, and I think about the necks of cows,
meadows, or snowy escarpments, laden mules on trail –
I find myself idle, staring
at his wedding band wondering
what it would be like.

These days nobody shakes hands;
I stand to leave
I say what I am supposed to say –
outside, I face the sun
like a challenge
with closed eyes
breathing in the fumes

the cobbled road
and all my ghosts
patiently await me.