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Seven Seconds

3.22.2017

Decisions begin to be made seven seconds before we consciously realize it,

neurons start firing, rewiring the nature of movement,

the coaction of why we are here,

the very pathways of synapse are the shadows of footsteps,

the future becoming clear.

 

It was coming down like sleet, click open the lock on the door,

after hours, after class, past patiently bored,

and her words still ringing the hammer and anvil like freedom.

 

The clearest freedom comes from the most impulsive minds,

complete disregard for life left behind,

car door shut on logic and reason,

key in ignition like kick-start the need and drive,

drive like it’s the last thing you’ll do. 

 

Start to circle the drain, watch the little remains of clarity

like metamorphosis turn to stare at the inward self, the questioning unravels

the neurons, and everything's blurring

on the windshield, this fear-fueled course,

highway remorse,

endorsing irrationality,

spiraling toward finality,

because in all this doubt,

you, the one I respect,

expect to understand,

you said you're the bouncer at the wedding,

and I'm betting I'm the crasher.

 

I've been able to sneak past your guest list for just a little while,

but the room is thinning, getting harder to hide,

and I can't help but believe that it's me,

that I wasn't invited, lost the RSVP,

I'm just the plus one, go ahead ask anyone if I belong here,

because I'm starting to see that I don't. 

 

I could drive right into the Minneapolis sky line,

the purple rain sunset pouring down like tears from the sliver of a moon

like a question-mark in the sky,

asking, begging summer to push it just a little further

in the heat of its love

like laughter moving lips,

like new life always growing from old life and maybe I

could be a prairie growing from the ashes of a metal wreck,

the jaws of life not loud enough to hold my name, only strong enough to break

open the pomegranate and shake loose the seeds until all that was left

was an empty skin, the same way you hear something in the wind

and maybe it’s your name, maybe it’s the future, but in this stale heat there’s nothing moving

but there's the 7th street exit, which never looked so straight I swear,

the green sign lighting up in blurs on the glass,

the half-assed covering that separates life and death,

the thinly veiled insult of a wall someone built

not to keep others out, but to keep everything in,

and the road it turns but that voice whispers,

push the pedal down, drive straight.

 

Seven seconds, and my mind is swimming in this wreckage,

the pieces contorted with cognitive distortions,

the heat that twisted them disconnected anxiety.

 

Six, the last time I remember my parents smiling in christmas cards

 

Five, the last time I remember playing with my brother in the backyard,

god the sunlight like laughter, I miss it, the

 

Four-leaf clover you pressed in the pages of A Little Corner of the Universe,

like folding planets and stars into an infinite story,

the artwork of Dali, we’re all melting away

into particles and waves, mixing back into

the great vast mess of gray matter decay,

Three the number of years it took me to make it here,

 

Two, the extent which I’ve gone, as in too far, too much, too long

without reaching out, it’s been a mess of internalizing messages,

a table with one fewer chairs,

the racing thoughts the blinding mind wears,

 

I am the imposter, I somehow got lost here,

walked into the wrong room and have been shifting ever since

trying to find a little space, but there isn't one,

so what does it matter if I drive straight with the doubt of

do I belong,

have I done wrong,

I might as well be gone and it would just take one person,

just one person,

just one person.

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