A Breakdown Of Breaking Down
Author: Shiloh


Someone is playing a double-bass fiddle,
hitting that deep note on the E-string,
over and over and over...
and you feel it in your chest,
your pulse echoes it,
pounding, blending with it,
and then you realize no one is playing anything...

. .. ... .... .... ... .. .

You know that catch you get,
back, deep in your throat,
when you are so choked up that you know
you could cry if you let yourself,
but you fight it back,
and you get that funny, empty, hurting feeling
deep in your chest,
and up in the bottom of your throat...
and you put your hand to the lower front of your neck,
and you can almost feel it
through all the layers of everything
between your fingers and the hurt screaming to get out...

But you fight it back down,
blink away a bit of the sting in your eyes,
still feeling the choked-up feeling inside your throat,
a little bit up toward the back of your jaw line
on both sides now, back toward the hinges of your jaw.
The roof of your mouth is dry,
and you even feel the ache in your ears, inside your temples,
and you know if you don't get away from it, somehow,
you're gonna bust loose and just fall down
with great heaving, body-shuddering sobs...

You work at it, you try to control it...
you take a few deep breaths, you close your eyes
and slowly shake your head back and forth.
You rub your eyebrows with your thumb and middle finger,
then run your hand up over your forehead,
and back through your hair,
then down to the back of your neck,
looking nearly as tired as you feel...
You avoid rubbing your eyes,
because you know that if you do that,
then the dam will burst.

And you still have that heavy, empty,
strange kind of ache somewhere in the middle of your chest
that you can feel all the way through to your back,
just below your shoulder blades...
the muscles are tensed and ache,
and you couldn't feel any worse
if you were slammed into a brick wall...
which, in a way, you were...

Then the tears well up at the corners of your eyes,
and you try not to blink,
but you do...
and the beginning falls, and courses down your cheeks...

Surrendering to the hurt,
and releasing yourself from all composure,
you let the agonies and the anguish
of your emotional hell just take over,
as you cry out in unbelievable pain,
until you just collapse in exhaustion,
totally, physically and emotionally, drained.

You fall asleep, if you are fortunate,
and in sleep you may hide from your pain a bit longer.
You might pray, as you drift off,
that when you awaken, your hurt will have lessened.
Time heals, you've heard.
You won't know for a while,
but you hope that's the way it really is.


Comments on this poem/writing:

Bipedalgu y ( -- Friday, September 12 2008, 02:41 pm

Sounds familiar

I've felt like that when scared right out of my tree. My heart becomes a basketball trying to get up my throat and out my mouth. What a hassle!
Depression is usually part of the cause, but depression helps one write, so whattaya gonna do?
You write well, and this one is a good example.
Keep writing!
shiloh ( -- Saturday, September 13 2008, 12:25 am

danke shoen

many thanks for your kind words, bipe - from one who writes well himself, i consider it a bit of praise that i will enjoy. peace...
V1NC3 ( -- Thursday, February 4 2010, 05:38 am

I know what you mean.....especially right now

this is my favorite one of your poems. I like the clear descriptions of the physical manifestations of emotional pain.

one more said you wanted me to write more and post it on here, and i have been. you should read my stuff and comment. i would appreciate the feedback.
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