Sometimes, We Die Twice

I am walking around in the company of friends at 2200h.

It’s a well lit highway, even more lit by our tranquil laughter.

A police land rover pulls over

Uniformed armed cops jump out

And cover us with their AK 47s.

 

Apparently there has just been a robbery in the area

And a few poor devils died

And the cops just need to search us.

 

We are a group of young men,

Walking around at 2200h,

Laughing like we have just struck a goldmine.

Sure sounds suspicious to me.

 

We shoot our hands up

My eyes involuntarily settle on one of the younger cops.

He is young and extraordinarily nervous.

His brow is damp.

He is sweating in the cold air of the night

Like he is in the gym,

His hands are shaking

As he points his rifle right at me.

 

During the search,

A speeding car approaches

And it's "bang!" as one of its tires bursts loudly.

 

The young nervous cop training his weapon on me

Thinks that someone has opened fire

His trigger finger gets to work…

On me.

 

Normal time freezes.

I am in bullet time.

I can see the muzzle flash as it spits bullets.

I can see the approaching lead but I can’t avoid it.

Hot metal in my chest and gut.

I am lying face down on the tarmac.

My nostrils breathe in the dust.

My teeth bite on the god awful concrete.

My blood stains God’s good earth.

 

I wake up to a white world with groaning patients,

Machines and over polite nurses.

Ventilator machine hisses in its bid to aid my respiration.

 

For six months I am glued to the bed with tubes sticking out of my body.

I have one attached to my ass so help me take a dump.

I have one that goes right into my body to help me eat.

I alienate everyone who knows me because

God damn it; they can’t see me like this!

I can’t even take a shit on my own,

I can’t feed myself

And where the hell is my boner?

 

I was a strong young man;

Now I am just a dependent cluster fuck.

I am a drugged young man who fantasizes to shorten a miserable day’s length

I live in the clouds now.

 

In the clouds I can fly.

In the clouds there is no family

And no friends to visit me

And cry over my broken bones,

In the clouds there is no one to take pity on me.

In the clouds I can fly.

It is just me and the feathery feel of the clouds on my fingers.

In the clouds, there is God

And I am second in command.

 

Then comes the excruciating physical therapy.

The doctor says it’s going to hurt like hell

Butt it’s the only chance I’ve got at recovering my lower body functions.

 

So I fight to walk.

I fight and sweat and bleed

For a chance to take myself to the toilet again.

I fight for the power to control my own bladder.

I fight for the right to look down my pants every morning

And see Dear Long Johnny standing at attention;

Not because he expects to march

Into a moist, sweet, dark tunnel of contentment anytime soon,

But so that when the time comes he won’t let me down.

 

Time comes when it all bears fruit

And I walk out of the hospital with my bowel,

My legs, and my erection.

 

Outside in the hospital compound on my way home after being discharged,

I slip on a banana peel.

 

I am in bullet time again as my legs leave the ground

And my body hovers in the air.

There on the ground where my head is headed lays a piece of wood

With four long nails jutting out of it.

 

I can see how this is going to end.

I am lying face down on the concrete.

My nostrils breathe in the dust.

My teeth bite on the god awful concrete.

My blood stains God’s good earth.

 

Shattered skull.

Nails in my head.

Perforated and bleeding brain.

Possibly a broken neck.

 

Oh this is going to hurt.

Just before the permanent darkness I sigh.

Ah shit! I just got my boner back.

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741