So Now I Can by Eli Oko

Inhale

As my past feels stretched out like it’s smothering my face
I lay on my back
Spine curving into the surface
Each limb connected as numb as my heart
Pulsing to the sounds I hear
As the blood rushes through my veins
I like the pink reflexion my complexion consumes
I’ve barely moved a muscle
As even my face is expressionless
I’ve not licked my lips in what feels like ages
I’m 23 and the moist dew from yesterday has dissapeared
I’m holding my breath to see what the end of the tunnel looks like
With its bright light
Eyes wide
I have my lids closed
I saw my image
Feint but there nonetheless
As I stared back at myself how concerned I was
It was unrecognisable
The me I thought they all saw had dissapeard
Like the dew drops he left on my lips
I awoke to the familiar hand caressing my waist
Not a tear on my face
This must be a dream
Now weeks ahead I still lay there with coloured thoughts
Mind racing like snails for cabbage
Leaving trails of 23 everywhere
Still pulsating to the sounds outside
There’s a life I wish to explore
Buzzing and applauding I wish it to be me
Or at least the moments of silence
I wish to retrieve and keep
But I can barely move
The bedsheets have become camouflaged as it wraps around me
Like a cocoon without a butterfly
I am an empty shell, useful but not currently being used
I am at my very best , worse state
You’re coping well I was told
But as I lay there remembering all the things that have and are soon to escape me
I see coping a bigger task than ever before
I wonder what they’d say if I wasn’t, coping
I wonder what they’ll do if for once I did let it all out
If I broke down on my knees begging them to fix the unfixable
If after 23 hours they’d still stand and say I am coping well
As I lay here and my body becomes familiar with inactivity
My heart beats a little slower as it takes a little less to maintain my blood flow
And all of a sudden I decide to …
Not breath out
And I see flashing images of the faces I’d leave behind
The person I wish to stay forever and a day with
This must be the “and a day”
The goals I still haven’t reached
The hope I have been given
By my God that never left me
That’s my motive
23 reasons later
At least it wasn’t too late
And as my alarm goes off for work, I figure it’s time to
Remove the past smothering me, so now I can

Exhale.

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