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"Lying in my brain's bed" by Cleo Spencer

There’s this roundabout

I’ve driven at least a hundred times.

I can spend hours at a time in its worn down routes

Revolving round the same uncertain attempts to

Release the vacuum in my chest

Empty the cotton in my stomach

With keys from secondhand maps.

Take the first exit for brain draws a reasonable observation.

Take the second for brain fabricates some poisonous distortion.

Strained neck squinting out the window at each turnoff

I look for hints that one will take me to Reality.

But the more I go around, the more the distinction between them blurs

Till there is only one exit

Dropping off into some defeated, deflated void.

My wrists ache from holding the turn as I go around again.

I don’t want to take this exit.

But I feel nauseous, short of breath, dizzy

And the uncertainty looping in my brain nags

Is this a lie is this a lie is this a lie is this a lie is this a lie is this

Calling it a lie feels like an excuse most days.

And maybe this is also a lie?

If there is a line separating Anxiety and whatever I am

It’s been broken for some time.

The lurking doubt and panic

Sometimes feel like a surreal game I’m playing, where I just need to

Snap out of it/Get out of my head/Try harder to stop over-thinking over-feeling


But I don’t know if I can get any closer to what’s Real than what I experience

Through the chemicals playing in my brain.

Real or lies

Either way I’ll ungracefully spiral down around down

Around into that familiar void again.

Funny how passive hating yourself becomes

When the organ that tells you who you are

And what reality feels like

Keeps making your bed with lies.

When I get tired,

Where else am I going to sleep?

*image by Elle Horsfall



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