...a recurring dream...
Darkness fills my senses
Pulling against my weary body
With false promises of sleep,
But I know better and resist.
I cannot seek repose tonight;
The nightmare keeps returning,
Never granting a reprieve
From my paranoid insomnia.
Fighting the overwhelming need
To rest my head against a pillow,
I bide my time writing in distraction,
As I await that first sliver of dawn.
Yet as I look at my bare feet,
I see glistening, vermilion pools,
Warm between my toes.
Oh, no, not again!
High-pitched cries of children
Shatter my desperation,
Forcing my hands up to my ears,
Painting crimson across my skin.
Why, when I look at them,
Are my hands dripping red,
Each fingertip a slow eddy
Of someone else's blood?
A train roars beside me
Diverting my open eyes
To the trio of children
safe beneath the tracks.
I walk toward them
I know they will only scream
As if to reassure myself
That they are alive, whole.
But as I get closer
Oh, no, please, no!
I can see only more blood
Splashed bright across the ties.
A doll-like hand grips
The far side of the tracks,
Just five small digits pale
Against the encroaching dark.
There is no body attached,
Though I know if I just turn--
The children wail at my approach,
Forcing the nightmare onward.
What monster have I become
That these children I wish to save
Press their backs against the walls
Of their makeshift shelter?
I reach out with both hands
Through the space between ties
Whispering words of comfort,
Met with hysterical despair.
Fingers curl around a thin neck
Someone stop me, please!
breaking skin with inhuman ease
and his life spills wet on my hands.
With strength I cannot understand,
No, no, no! I rip the body through
The minor blockade of the railway,
My mouth moving towards the--
"No!" I scream, forcing myself awake,
Papers scattering in my distress.
My hands feel warm, my lips wet;
My tongue tastes teeth tainted metallic.
I cannot look, trembling as I sit,
Afraid of what might await my sight
But I know I must, for sanity's sake,
Lest the nightmare hold me forever.
At long last, I open my tired eyes
And pull my hands away from the table,
Oh, no...No! Not again!
Only to see brown lines across my palms.
I know what it is, but not why I see it,
My brain rejecting the proof I cannot deny,
A haunting reminder of my true nature,
My nightmare will never end.