The Difficulty of Staying Alive

Waking to the claws
that rake and twist,
teasing and tormenting,
a glutton within,
host destroying,
balance bending virus
of age and weight and wear.

Upright but out of kilter,
blood rushing north
to navigate south.
too much to ask
but ask will be asked
and asked.
again and again
Darkness!
Disorientates until
a hand connects with
cold plaster and
vertigo rolls back.

The world swims
in a blur of retrieved
trousers and shirt.
Floor gives up slippers
and the creak of
red pine under numb feet.
The twisted path
from wall to wall
on uncertain joints
that navigate
independent of thought,
to arrive by luck
at a chosen destination
with little thanks to function
or reliability.

Groping for relief
among the various
strays and waifs of
cardboard and foil. Drugs.
Bitterness and gagging
but the tap is a step to far
and the fridge is Africa,
a whole continent of too far.
Retrace steps,
relief not yet come
but the knowledge of the fizz
in blood and brain
is relief in itself.
Rusty hinges are creaking,
flares of use unasked for
and unwelcome, until the fall.
Return journey completed
and the tears of pain abating.
Another bout fought and won,
a bow to the bitch that is,
the difficulty of staying alive

© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

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