I published a poem in my collection Inhale the Night called Dark Knowledge. It’s about a lost woman named Leanne who struggles after a debilitating accident. This is a continuation of her story in a weekly serial, The End of Nights. Find the last episode here. And the first one here.
The End of Nights
She felt the barcode
Wristband and she knew
The softer side of hell
Had taken her –
But Leanne could not
Voice frustration through
Through the breathing tube,
She wanted sunlight
And a normal life –
Whatever normal really
Was, she didn’t know,
Except, that Gene had
Never been a part of it,
Her past came back in flashes
Of vague light –
She saw her parents and
The men who never
Reached her: some had
Touched too deep before the thrills
Wore off, like morphine drips replaced
By emptiness and air
Doctors and police visited her bed and
She tried sleeping between questions
Sometimes during – Gene
Had taught her that in bed:
Feel pleasure for yourself
And leave the bare essentials
But now his car was at the bottom
Of a lake – she survived somehow
Against her will –
“Leanne,” a voice said shaking her.
“What is it?” Leanne feigned grogginess.
“You haven’t slept in days, so stop pretending”
“Gene?” she asked, her eyes adjusting to the light.
“No, my name is Doctor McCormack.”
“Are you here to arrest me?”
“No, I’m here to help you.”
“You can’t help me,” Leanne told him,
As she closed her eyes. The world was
Calmer without color. “I can help you,”
McCormack told her, “and I will.”
She didn’t argue or agree with him.
“I’m going to start you on antidepressants,
But before that, I want you to tell me everything.”
“Everything?” she asked him.
“Everything and more.”
Thoughts of everything were
Overwhelming, yet she hadn’t
Cleared her mind enough
For crumbs since Beth and Jeanie
Crashed and left her –
“Leanne,” the Doctor told her,
“I grew up small,” she told him
With a heavy smile.
© Ben Ditmars 2015
Find the next episode here.