I open my eyes.
To look around.
And I can see people drowning.
I am standing somewhere far.
It feels like I’m standing and watching a dream.
A dream that my body cannot feel.
Only my mind is really awake.
Watching it through the closed eyes of my body.
But the open eyes of my soul.
I see too many people.
Everyone is running.
I can’t make out.
But as they run.
They are unable to move forward.
And then I see them drowning.
Into something that only they can see.
They see it from their closed eyes.
I still cannot see it.
Maybe because my eyes are open.
I’m trying to look at it harder.
But my open eyes fail to comprehend that which they are drowning into.
So now I shut my eyes.
And I reach there.
I can see it now.
I can feel it tugging on to me.
It is carrying me inside it.
I feel like I’m falling now.
So I try to open my eyes.
But it’s pulling my eyelids down.
I feel like I am losing myself inside it.
I need to open my eyes soon.
Otherwise it will take me with itself.
And drown me.
I see all those people again.
Standing so close to me.
So I ask for help.
But nobody can hear me.
I can see them looking at me.
They watch me with their closed eyes.
They silently tell me to stay.
They say I must not resist the pull.
That should let go.
And never open my eyes again.
I’m getting tired now.
My heart is asking me to give in.
I am feeling so weak.
And slowly I’m losing the grip.
I am drifting into it deeper now.
The pull is getting stronger.
It is getting inside me.
And I am trembling.
Yet I cannot feel anything.
I am trying to scream now.
But my voice is nothing more than a mumble.
There is silence around.
But my ears are hurting.
Because there is a kind of noise in this silence.
I am floating now.
And it is suffocating me.
Because I float no more on the surface.
I am right down.
Deep down inside it.
I feel it now.
I am drowning too.
And everything rushes into me suddenly.
It is all getting inside me.
Tearing through my body.
Reaching the insides of my veins.
I can see the broken pieces of myself.
It has all entered me now.
And I have lost myself.
But I am not dead.
Because my eyes suddenly open.
That pull is a part of me now.
But which part of me is really left?
None that I can recognize.
Or feel as my own.
Because now I become what I saw there.
A dark shadow of what I felt.
You ask me what I saw there?
I tell you that I saw that part of smoke of the cigar that you couldn’t puff out.
That bit of alcohol which you couldn’t puke out.
That smoked up inch of the drug that went up and reached your mind.
I felt every bit of that guilt that remains inside you all the time.
I found every piece of your soul that you lost with each sip, each smoke.
Yes, I saw every part of your self that you lost each time you closed your eyes to be there.
Because each time you chose to be there,
to feel that which you knew is false,
to feel that which you knew would drown your inner voice,
to feel that which you knew would not last;
you lied to yourself.
You hurt yourself.
I stand before you now.
Not as me.
But as a corpse of your lost spirit.
The scars on me that you see,
Are nothing but the shadow of your injured soul.
So I ask you now.
Would you bleed me more?
Or would you remove the scars you gave yourself and save me?
(cover photo by Toni Frissel)