Some mornings taste like smoke.

Dark and foggy, choking my breath.

There's a reverie that jogs me

every now and then

to jump out of my skin,

that waits patiently

for the trepidation within

to deepen, to settle in.

I walk into voids,

into walls, into curtains of darkness,

with my eyes open,

as if anticipating every warm ray of sunshine to ashen,

each tinge of hope to wither away,

every stroke of green to grey.

I keep staring into the starless sky

desperately beseeching

the white foams of clouds

to crumble,

strike dead,

dissolve,

absorb,

the million voices

screaming inside my head,

even as minutes

tick away into hours,

and the hours slowly metamorphose into days.

There's a bitter after-taste of fear

resting on my lips,

beneath my palms,

in the freckles on my brow,

that lingers

long after

I've brushed every inch of my paling epidermis

over and over and over again

with salt,

with guilt,

with sharp shards of ice.

Come evening,

the circles around my eyes

sag into pumice blue bags,

waiting for twilight,

wondering why

it is easier

to breathe into the night

than waking up to the reality

shimmering ahead

in plain sight.