cof

 

PTSD

 

fine body hairs twitch

preparing for something

 

past feel of foil clenched

 between gnashed teeth

 

tungsten singed to hip socket

powered by whipsaws

 

controlled by unseen men

everyday limbs shake

 

rusty nails scrape

against each nerve

 

flies swarm and buzz

 but never get out

 

 

canto i, at the borderlands*

 

stopped

no sky

only a dense lost

 

forest

savage

arduous

 

then fear extreme

death bitter

there

 

what I saw

I entered

sleepy-faced

 

at the wrong pass

in heart-

terror

 

dead-ended

the body

like a light

 

lost

turbulent

sadness

 

my mind

a top

in mid-turn

 

where no one

leaves

ill begins

 

 

a beast

with his shiny coat

dead-set against me

 

him crazed

by cravings causing

so many to live

 

in misery

I felt solid defeat

lost hope

 

the beast drove me

to the shadows

the sun stop

 

when I saw someone

alone

like a mirage

 

I called

take pity

ghost or

 

Virgil

rainmaker

I’m shaking with fear

 

he said

you have to take a different route

to pass through

 

stay behind me

your guide

to lead you through eternal

 

Hell pain

a second death of fire

poised at the edge

 

damned

 

*This is an erasure poem of Mary Jo Bang’s translation of the same Canto from the Inferno by Dante Alighieri.

 

 

fullsizeoutput_af5

Heather Quinn is a poet and trauma survivor who lives in San Francisco.   She is drawn equally to life’s light and shadows, and is awed by the indestructible force that burns brighter than shame.  She has been published in Zoetic Press’ Nonbinary Review, Minnesota Review, West Marin Review, Rockhurst Review, and the Floating Holiday Magazine.  Heather co-founded a peer-led poetry workshop, which has been meeting regularly since 2002.

 

photo credit: stephanie roberts   Twitter    Instagram   SoundCloud

 

 

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