Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

There is a humming hammer hitting just beside my temple,

just behind my ear,

and it numbs me.

Crisply, I answer. Everytime, without fail,

though I know—

it is always a Ding. Dong. Ditch.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Scratching, tapping, crunching: sounds have a funny way of tearing up the veins rooted beneath my skin

or bursting open my bleeding eardrums.

Silence is a virtue you do not appreciate until it dismally erased.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The clock counts down the seconds until time is up.

What happens when time is up?

What happens?

What happens?

Someone please tell me.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The Dark comes at Night,

loud and sharp.

It chips at my arms and legs and back,

chopping through the lungs I have knitted together through all these years.

When shadows erupt beneath the surface of your skin,

when you do not remember the day or the week or the feeling of the sun on your face,

this is when you know the Dark is eclipsing what is left of you.

This is when you begin to Forget.

I Forget most everything, now.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

I don’t breathe anymore,

I don’t breathe anymore,

I don’t breathe anymore.

It is the most surreal sensation:

like pounding pressure and chaos in the third-degree.

I believe that my flesh is a loose jacket I merely zip on every morning;

nothing feels like home and nothing feels lived in,

not even my body.

Panic washes over my burning skin in

Triples, Trios, Threes.

Always there and always just over my shoulder.

The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit—

Threes.

Rock, Paper, Scissors—

Threes.

Snap, Crackle, Pop—

Threes.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Threes.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The Ticking may always linger,

sitting in a chair at the base of my skull.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

And the Ticking calls.

I hear it whispering and tugging and shaking me.

It is paralyzing to force down my tongue and not bite back.

Then there is the Dark, creeping over my shoulder.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

And the Ticking beckons.

There is always Noise.

Loud, white Noise.

Stark reality, Noise.

When I am not talking, I am begging someone else to;

I am filling that emptiness with emptiness with emptiness with emptiness—

pages and pages of books,

hours of bleeding ink from my pores,

days sheltered beneath blankets of oblivion.

It is Forever spent doing anything but Thinking and Silence and Threes.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The worst things come in Threes:

the Noise, the Dark, the Ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Leaves of Three, they said.

Let it be, they said.

But I cannot.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Aspiring poet/author, high school junior. Enjoy!

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