Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I want to put myself to sleep,
and you, and the rest of the world, as well -
all at once.
[I think it is part of the sickness within me.]

I writhe about in the sheets -
[oh my dear, don't listen to a word I say] -

My eyes no longer see straight.
They have become pupils of coal,
irises of flame.

There is fire in my throat,
and fire in my head,
it crackles away at my thoughts,
and lights up my whole bed -

Now, all light comes from ME!

[Please promise me you'll be steady.
Please, please promise you'll be stronger than I am.
I don't understand any of it, and I don't mean a word I say,
I tell you.]

I want to put out the moon!
I want to put out the stars!
I'd sink down into this blazing river,
were it not for your grip on my arm -

Now I howl and claw at your hands
[You'll always have scars, you know -
oh, my sweet sweet darling] -

[please please please
my heart my honey my gold
believe me when I say this, only this:
I am not myself]

Oh, what has become of your dear one?
She is demon
whisperer of siren songs and
raving somnambulist


Will you make me to swallow ice water?
Will you take my temperature throughout
the night,
and lay cool cloths across my forehead?
Will you trust me
when I tell you that you must not trust me?

If so, I warn you -
you will have to reach beyond reason
(I went there long ago).

Oh, how can I ask you to accompany me in this descent?
How can I subject you, too, to the inferno of my mind?

Can you survive it?
Will you?

Your tears are cool upon my face.

I try to remember how, hours ago,
when the delirium first struck,
you found me crawling out of the window -
tip-toeing along the ridge and towards the gable -
I believed that I was walking into the
white-hot flames of the moon.

You stumbled after me.
You caught me into your arms
in the nick of time;

You carried me inside.

It won't be much longer now -
It can't be -
It mustn't -

Please, just hold my hand.
Kiss me -
it keeps the fire at bay.

At dawn,
once the fever has broken,
and when I have awoken,
where will the two of us stand?

Will you have grown tired and frightened?
Will you have fled in the night?

Or will you be asleep in the chair,
thermometer in hand?

Copyright © 2011 by Olivia Meldrum