the in between

Your old life
sinks in your belly,
a forgotten ship,
being eaten alive
by the guts that used to
hold it up.
The captain doesn’t know
he’s a ghost now.
The captain doesn’t know
he’s a stranger now.
His strength still turns the wheel,
his voice still shouts the orders,
and your brain still,
every so often,
falls in line.

Bits of treasure and trash
float up into your heart.
Sometimes it’s rich.
Sometime it feels like
everything is sinking
all over again,
and your guts turn to acid,
and your air turns to water,
and you choke
and you break apart.

You haven’t found a new compass yet,
a new flag to fly.
How can you when you still dream
of dancing on the decks
of a drowned life?
When you pay for your new life
with gold from your old?

The captain shouts orders,
and you fall in line,
knowing his dead eyes cannot see
the horizon,
cannot read the map,
but at least his guts
are not filled with yesterday.
At least his guts
are not filled with butterflies
that are silly enough to try to fly
underwater.

You splash and you spin,
you sink and you swim.

You won’t get
your old life back,
but you don’t get to have
a new one,
either.

(Thanks to David Ellis for reminding me that NaPoWriMo is happening!)