Days of Fog and Pressure

ann e. wallace

My daughter and I laugh
at my muddled comments,
my questions asked anew on repeat
because I forget not just
the answer but that I have already
inquired about schoolwork, or dinner,
or the weather, and cannot remember
if I have been talking to her
or to myself.

The neural haze I fight to break
through is thick, so thick,
with a periphery of pulsing darkness
noisy and closing in, always in, on the holdout
center of clarity, growing small
and smaller
for week after week,
as I close my eyes in exhaustion
against the drumming inside my head.

These five weeks, I feel my brain swoon
and constrict as my blood runs low
on oxygen, feel myself diminish
as I fight not just for air,
but for words and logic,
for narrative,
and fight to remember the story
of me.


Ann E. Wallace is a poet who lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, is available from Main Street Rag (2019), and she has published poems in numerous journals including Stirring, Mom Egg Review, Wordgathering, Riggwelter, and Snapdragon. Her work can be found at and on Twitter @annwlace409.