When I wake words want me.
Sleep wishes to drag me down
to the bed, while awake desires
to pull me from the mattress,
force me to drink cups of coffee.
News launches from the TV,
showing disaster everywhere
who promises to visit me soon.
Shoes love my feet. The coat
sticks to my body. I swear
at late for pushing me out,
wave bye to early, on-time.
As I walk to work the cloud
of language hovers around me.
They’re flies that summon firing,
fear, and anxiety, each one leaving
a nasty bite. I pick out hope,
but she’s the least of her siblings.
“You have to really believe in me
for it to work.” I chant her name.
I believe, I tell her, I believe.
She floats ahead of me, glowing.
She promises I’ll get through this.
Donald Illich‘s work has appeared in journals such as The Iowa Review, LIT, Nimrod, Passages North, Rattle, andSixth Finch. He was named Honorable Mention in Word Works’ Washington Prize Competition. His chapbook is Rocket Children.