When I was little I used to lay in bed
and it was like time would surround me,
fall down over me, on me, lay round me
like the blankets, rough and wool
(and scratchy, so I could never get comfortable).
But the problem was, time would not keep out!
No…it seeped thru my pores and wrapped round my bones
with its icy tendrils that could morph and move
like foggy fingers there and not there
(and just like time has always been, uncomfortable).
I got desperate and anguished and panicked
and I thrashed around frantic like a fish
hauled out of the lake and flopping on the deck
with a bitter hook caught at its jaws
(because hungry and wanting comfortable).
But I wasn’t actually moving, not really.
My body was still, frozen, fearful of fury
and the stormy flipping frenzied flailing
was all in my head while shadows laughed
(on walls akimbo and decidedly uncomfortable).
Those shadows all the way from Japan, there on my walls.
Kabuki pallbearers waiting to carry me to the last place
where the hook of time would be pulled at last from my jaw
and I thrown into…what…the larder, or back in the lake
(I feared each one, false friend and never comfortable)?
Finally, blankets scratchy and harsh, holding me down,
conspired with time and its frozen invasive thrusts
and I was filled with the brutal fecund flow washing
over my fertile imagination and there conceived such spawn
(shadows and time and me spawn something very uncomfortable).
Then that thing began to writhe, kick inside me, jaws working
faster and faster until I knew it would gnaw me thin, and then gone.
I knew it was chewing its way to the freedom denied me
and I screamed so fearful that ears could not hear it
(but my doggie did, she was never away from me and comfortable).
I screamed until I passed out, and blood spatter gouts spurted
their baptismal incantations as I gave birth to the only offspring
I could bear, the bastard child of time and shadow and fear,
and awareness left me like the dirty water of my bath draining
(it spiraled down clockwise…that wisdom so uncomfortable).
But I always woke up, as if nothing had happened
and my stomach was flat, unmarked, taut and young.
The sun shown bright and birds sang all round me
and there was nothing on the walls…not even a shadow of shadows
(and Japan was far away, bowing, waiting and comfortable).