Are you okay but the question comes at you
from a distance,
down a tunnel in a language you remember you used to know.
It takes a long time,
even longer to respond.
It’s hard to form words
when you can’t work your muscles
and you’re concentrating on breathing
and your head is trying to explode from
the juxtaposing contradictions of
too fast and too slow.
Not really but it’s too hard to explain
what I’m like on the inside when I’m
overwhelmed by even the outside.
The world is too much:
too big and too open,
too loud and too bright,
too small and too dark and too oppressive
and the people bury me with their presence;
the input is overwhelming.
I feel them everywhere.
I want them all gone.
I need them as an anchor.
It’s a conundrum.
Deep breaths and feel my feet.
Feel my kidneys.
Try and focus the whirling and spinning eyes.
Fight the nausea.
I’m still here, somewhere,
lost but totally visible.
No one notices the inside screaming,
the slow deep breaths,
the rising storm
but they see me raise my hands and stagger,
step back in retreat
from absolutely nothing
as I shatter inside into a million pieces.
I appreciate the concern but I can’t talk to you right now.
Busy pulling myself back into some semblance of cohesion;
looking for myself in the dust and debris
wondering where I go
when I’m not here anymore.