Misguided Pathos

Angela Dragani

Please don't tell me you know how I feel.
You - with your murmured sweet nothings,
your Great Uncle's cousin's sister and her ill-defined troubles.

Your face so alarmed as you desperately struggle
to see my long-familiar self, my eyes, my heart -
And yet peer past my left shoulder with vague feelings of unease.

It's okay. I really do get it. I was cool,
but now I'm something new and alien,
and quite possibly dangerous.

Please don't tell me how I should feel.
You - Ha! You who have never tasted that burning metal spit
while the wind steals your breath and you pluck the stars from the sky.

Dancing on dew in that secret ethereal forest,
and the colours! Oh man those colours in a million billion hues
and every single one a promise and a possibility.

Please don't tell me how to fix myself, I'm not broken.
You - who have always been on a first name basis with your sanity,
never felt that creeping, clinging otherness.

That hostile stranger,
That malevolent bastard,
Felt him wrapping you in black in a room that only locks from the inside.

Trapped with him for days, weeks, months,
while he feasts until there is nothing left.
Staying alive loses all appeal and there is only the cold black left.

Please don't criticize how I choose to treat myself.
In fact, how I choose to treat this illness, or not,
is none of your damn business?

You - who saw the Silver Linings Playbook - twice!
And so, you KNOW of what you speak
Your micro expertise droning on into nothingness.

And now I'm left here to curse your sudden and inevitable betrayal
(I'll pause here so those in the know can sigh and reminisce)
Because it's just too hard, it's exhausting, but I'll understand?

Please don't say it's for the best.
You who seem to have conveniently forgotten
in your mad dash to anywhere but here.

I didn't ask for anything. I didn't have to.
15 minutes and one heartfelt confidence ago - we were friends.
For you my friendship now comes with a taint.

There will be midnight phone calls.
Missing jewellery and liberties taken.
I'll ruin the wedding and destroy the marriage.

Show up uninvited and leave misery in my wake.
That's what they say. That's what you read.
You can't see past the diagnosis and it's just not worth it.

Please don't tell me that you know how I feel.

You couldn't possibly.