Nightmare 

Violent and gore,

there are rooms filled with carnage,

intestines and coagulated blood,

arms and legs severed, or 

watching people line up

to be cut in half by an enormous

apparatus like the paper-cutter

that I used in my art classes,

blades covered in the previous victim’s 

fluids, body cast aside,

flinching at the sound of that hinge,

the agonizing screams cut short.

Being chased by something,

or hiding and waiting for the

predator, breathless,

sometimes human,

sometimes beast, to find me.

Watching people that I love

be hurt, hostages at gunpoint, killed.

Being helpless in a catastrophic 

storm, and clinging for my life 

against a flimsy piece of foam that

might be wrenched from my grasp

at any moment, and being pulled

into the vortex of a bottomless

ocean.

It never mattered the dream,

I would realize what it was, and

after years of graphic, horrifying 

images and fears brought to life, 

I developed ways to resist succumbing

to that immobilized terror,

and halted waking in a cold sweat,

panting.

But lately, the demons have brought,

to my restless sleep, my memories

unfractured. 

Those are far more frightening

than any conjuration of my 

disrupted subconscious,

and I pray they leave my head.

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