Shell Shock

Everybody hurts, but everyone doesn’t feel pain.
I’m a veteran of mind wars in psych wards.
Post-traumatic stress and night tremors
Are the least of my worries. Ditto for the
Apparitions that haunt my subconscious.

What will eventually kill me are internal wounds,
The bullets lodged in bone. They severed
Nerves as they ripped through my flesh;
These projectiles–Depakote, Risperdal, Prozac, Lithium
By name–tore gaping holes in my liver
And decimated my killer T cells
In their attempts to soothe the latent
Killer inside me. Their metallic components
Seeped into veins, arteries, causing
Blood poisoning that will never fully heal.

It is not as painful as one would assume.
I’ve been numb too long to even recall
What pain feels like. Everyone hurts,
But not everybody feels pain.

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
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