Night Terrors

It starts with a tightness:
You wake to feel your heart
Coming out of your chest,
As if manipulated by some unseen force–
And that is what you believe,
If only for a moment,
As you’re sprinting down the hall,
Legs caught up in bedsheets,
Slowly embarrassing yourself into stopping
Before you reach the stairs.
Sometimes you manage.

And then it’s back to bed,
Forget, forget,
Do what you can to become unimportant again,
Don’t let yourself be the center of attention
In this darkened, quiet room–
Let other things take precedence,
Like sleep, and peace,
Not turbulence and fear and
Worry for your sanity.
Let dreams rise above, let sleep take over.
Rest now — you are more useful that way.
Let the clock tick by unnoticed,
Let tomorrow be
The next moment
In your mind.
It’s over now

–though there’s no guarantee,
For the moment you sleep is the moment you’ll be
Attacked again by your own anxiety.
If it happens again, please don’t jump out of bed,
Just breathe and wake up, and get out of your head.
You felt an effect and created a cause,
But you can’t work out truth
While running down halls,
Or gathering items to save
From your crumbling house–
Or perhaps from yourself–
Or panicking over
Indecipherable events
That only exist
In your head.

Dear heart,
My dearest, only heart,
Please stop rousing me in the middle of the night.

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