Do you feel the chain wrapped around your neck and the weight that’s attached? Do you feel it slowly pull you under and choke you like ominous hands everywhere you travel?
Are you drowning above the water on stale air which enters and exits slowly? Is the heaviness of one sigh practically enough to make your body collapse and break?
Does it follow you around? The big, black cyclone that never ceases to devour your trail? Is it enough to make you feel still in a concrete wall and paralyze all emotion?
Do you find it difficult to rise from the tomb of the mind and count the rays of sunlight through the window? Does the sun’s offering mean little to nothing when it attempts to warm?
Have you ever wondered if you’re the only one who walks down this road alone? If so, does the entire world in your peripheral blur with smiles and laughs and precious moments?
Does it all seem artificial, like plastic bulbs in green Styrofoam placed on a grave? Those ginormous arcs, jagged, grey teeth sticking out of the Earth, are they meaningful?
Do they make you worry about what’s to come? Do you ever believe that you’ll be forgotten and bulldozed over as if you were a tree in the forest?
And which are you exactly? A magnolia, a weeping willow, or a dogwood cut and fashioned into a cross? If you are a tree, do you ever feel like your branches are bare?
Even in the spring, when all that is supposed to blossom and grow magnificently, do you find it hard to produce fruit and give the sweet taste of life? Do you ever feel cut down?
Or are you an ocean? Churning violently over yourself beneath, but calm on top? Does your own current cause you to drift off into regions where no lifeboat can sail?
Is there an island in your distance? Isolated and only inhabited by your own thoughts, is it so much to have a mermaid wash up and say everything will be much better?
From the view of the shore, is there always a storm which seems to be approaching? A category five, black and massive, rumbling deeply, does it make you build a shelter?
And are you only left with sticks and twigs? Do you ever worry the wolf will ever huff and puff and blow it all away — again — and leave you exposed once more?
Are there bricks available? Do you ever build a wall around yourself and close out everything that could possibly destroy you? What if you’re the main source of destruction?
A deadly eye, a glare in the mirror, are you the fairest of them all or a poisoned apple who indulges in yourself? Can it be that both are sometimes one in the same?
Where is the line? Does it divide you down the middle vertically, or does it fold in half? Is your entire existence a Get Well Soon card that never opens up for anyone to read?
Have you ever sat at a dinner table and felt catatonic in front of your food? Does the stomach ever growl, but you can’t find the desire to actually consume it?
What about a cigarette? Has it ever been difficult to murder yourself slowly, because even the mere act of taking in smoke is hard and the effort seems pointless.
And finally, despite everything, have you ever forced yourself to smile regardless? Have you pulled the strings and walked around the occasion as if it’s all a bad dream?
Have you ever had to silence all these thoughts, start the engine and avoid all these harrowing questions? Do you ever suppose that there will be a definite answer?