Long Term Prognosis

From a study by researchers at the University of Oxford, 2014: “The average reduction in life expectancy in people with bipolar disorder is between nine and 20 years, while it is 10 to 20 years for schizophrenia, between nine and 24 years for drug and alcohol abuse, and around seven to 11 years for recurrent depression.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wave I’ve ridden
since I was fifteen

lifts me into
a teary dream
in the dark, in bed.

Wave full of shapes,
threats, teeth;

wave that raised me.

Tears in the dark,
stifled tears increasing
the height of the wave;
within it the shapes, the teeth, 
the cold hunger 
I have pretended to love.

Hope

is just another 
shape in cold water,
something frightening
I can’t see, beyond
the trough of this wave,
coming in the next one
or the next, or never coming
at all.

Wave I’ve ridden
from teens to now.
Wave I ride is 
fifty-eight miles long
and counting. 

Doctors once said
it would fade

as I aged. Said the wave
would crest, that I’d make
landfall soon enough.

Doctors:

more shapes under 
the crest of the wave. More teeth
to cut into me.

Wave I’ve ridden since
I was young elevates me into
fearsome visibility under
a moon that will not eclipse
or take pity.

Lunatic, I call myself, lunatic
surfing horror waves
under the sobbing moon,
the laughing moon.

Waves upend me 
in the dark, in night.
Upside down,
suspended,

airless.

You’re not supposed
to be still up there
crying on the crest
of a wave,
say the better surfers.

Fifty-eight years in? I know this.

Fifty-eight years
in this surf, still can’t see
shore.

May be
time at last

to smash down,
to fall into those teeth,

to drown.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

2 responses to “Long Term Prognosis

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