Tom Harris

Every morning he woke to his ceiling
briefly losing himself in its white heaven,
empty, quiet, comforting.

Like the wrinkles on his face,
the cracks appeared
growing from the corners of the ceiling,
deepening, and creaking in its’ old age
it began to collapse and gave way on top of him.

Eyes shut tight,
returning to life as he inhaled,
he exhaled out of bed.

Tom lived in a fourth story apartment
with a balcony that bathed in sunsets and sun rises.
Most days he stood a distance away from the railing,
there were few days where he had the courage
to stand close or place his hands on it.

When he did,
Like the decaying bones of a corpse
The rail would crumble apart
And he would fall over the edge.

His limbs dislocating,
his heart convulsing,
his body hugging the pavement
As he hit the ground.

He stumbled backwards into his living room
And locked the balcony door.
After breakfast he went to work.

Upon entering his car he would die once more,
A head on collision.
He watched the steering wheel crush his stomach
Watched his windshield shatter
as his whole body rattled within
The pulverized vehicle.

Looking at himself in his rear-view mirror
He starts his engine and continues his day.

No one knew how the unpredictable
fate of mortality haunted him
So much so that living meant
to die a new death every day.
Every night he drank tea before bed
But this night, as he slept,
The gas from his stove crawled about his home,
poisoning his lungs.

When he awoke to white heaven,
it didn’t creek or crack.
But simply remained blissful.

 

Elizabeth Schwartz

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One Comment on “Tom Harris”

  1. Matt Seats says:

    Well done Elizabeth – Matt Seats


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