To die and to dream

Massive black whispers
hold down my head with heavy echoes
of coughing dogs and cars.
They have ganged up
with the hissing bedclothes that snake
around my thighs and knuckles.
I’m limp, but I can feel Time
grind into the room and squeeze
my sour sweat deep into the sheets.
These are not the same hours that whip us
with coffee breaks, or spin
thin deadlines and fat birthdays, or blink
with arrivals and departures.
These are old hours –
slow, dry, and ruthless.
They have gnawed deep
past the moist earth to feed
on white bones and fossils,
but remain unsated.
Now they come to suck
patiently at my congealed truths,
to gorge themselves
on raw ideals and ripe sorrows.
I am defenceless in their onslaught,
yet unafraid.
They are chewing away my layers –
with each rasping minute
I am becoming lighter.
Strangely, it is painless.
Soon there will be nothing left to hold down,
and just like yesterday and the day before,
I will escape, leaving them
with only meat and gristle.