My bones are brittle,
weighted not with marrow
but the concrete dust of disappointment.
My lungs are faulty bellows, alveoli clotted
not with mucus but the salt of unshed tears.
Navigation is slow.
Hills once easily ascended loom like the Hindu Kush;
even a short run of stairs leaves me aching, winded.
My eyes glaze with resignation;
my hands, always imprecise and clumsy,
tremble with uncertainty as I move through the day.
Even eating brings no pleasure.
Everything is tasteless, a clotted mush of yesterday’s failures.
As soon as it grows dark I seek the shelter
of my sheets and lie there unmoving,
waiting for the sandman, that elusive playboy familiar
often as not out partying ’til dawn,
my only occupation, until he comes to smother me,
reliving my mistakes, all captured on the film of memory.
One day that salt will stop my breathing
and I will fall, blue and broken,
down the rabbit hole to the unknown.
RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, (Patrick Heath Public Library of Boerne, 11/2021) The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), in print: 2River, Event, Coffin Bell, Gargoyle Magazine, Genre Urban Arts, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, Variant Literature, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals.