The Man in My Nightmares

dark man

As I drift slowly
Into my drug-induced sleep,
A scene from the past into
My dimming consciousness creeped.
It was of this school girl
And how frightened she was
At the sight that assaulted
Her eyes, so young and innocent.
I could almost hear her screams
As she ran away, scampering
And quivering – not knowing
How to erase from her mind
what she saw so clearly that day.

It was of a man,
Whose mottled face
Spoke of nothing but death.
He had hung himself
Using a rope that chaffed at his skin,
Leaving marks – all angry red –
As he swayed to and fro
From the eaves of his house.
His tongue, protruding from
His mouth like an alien tentacle,
Was all purple and gruesome.
And, as it hung there,
Looking nasty all by itself,
It seemed to latch onto
The man’s whole being,
Calling attention unto itself
That you won’t even give more
Than a moment’s notice
To his eyes that bulged
Right out of their sockets –
All blank and staring,
Yet already soulless in
Their emptiness.

Now, even though my eyes
Are tightly shut,
I can still see everything –
As clear as that day
When my curiosity got
The better of me and made me
Run towards the house
Of that man who took
His own life,
Who hung himself
To the eaves of his home
Without giving a thought
To the people he’d left behind
Who felt bereft and all alone.
Yes, I was that school girl
Who ran screaming with
The sight of that purple tongue
Etched heavily in her mind.
I was that school girl
Who did her best to erase
That vivid memory from
Her consciousness – even as it
Worked hard at being part
Of the nightmares that make me
Quake harshly at night.

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