Waiting for a Bite

Sign away on this ancient obligation

To clock-watching battle trenches

A steady measurement of fever,

Toxicity.

Optimists listen for a heartbeat.

Tick.

Tock.

Swim into a lake of ice.

A steadfast surface un-cracked—

Here’s an easy oath

To take.

Desperate cries for, and of, presence;

But all I hear are shouts

To jump.

Possible only if I could stop falling

Out of the present.

Anchored to stonewall tendencies,

My great barrier belief,

I’m holding my breath.

Tick.

Tock.

Or drowning.

These baptisms of standards

Overflow me with sorrow,

The salts of dehydration.

No one leads a true, great quest

To discover

This sunken ship of pleasures.

Without patience, their corks bob with life,

Troubled by the inconvenience

Of the dive.

You need oxygen

Like I need lungs.

I can’t take the bait of your hope,

Tastes of poison in my mouth.

The luring charade

My gut rejects instinctively;

Schools I could never follow—

Confusing rituals to conjure

Closeness.

To me, looks like oil on the surface

Suffocating with no light.

With depths so familiar

And a surface so alien,

I dare not kick my legs.

© 2014 Christine Bradley

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