Dread by Luca Lovato

I can’t believe I’m here.
visited by an old friend
The cold embracing me tightly
In its disgusting falsely used love
Lifting my feet, I bring my knees to my chest
My pale hands gripping the boney shins
While roots grow out of my head to display
little orange containers of light
They’re beautiful, the containers
Although now empty
They once were filled
With little gifts of joy
Little bite sized happy trinkets
Dangling in the branches
Of the roots that are growing
Just so they can pull me away
My body loves the roots
They grow because I’ve made art
My beautiful art
Crafted by my hands
But my mind is scared
My eyes shake
I’ve lost all tenderness
And grown calloused instead
I wish I could open my eyes
To gaze forth onto a hungry haze
One that consumes my very soul
And the still-beating heart I protect
I wish I could open my mouth
To scream in detest and shock
To call for help from anyone, yet
I know that help will not come
With a tick, then a tock,
The pounding under the boney cage
Erupts in a cacophony of confusion
And elation of the damage that’s come
Stronger than any arousal I’ve ever felt
A brightest sensation I can muster
Yet so destructive, saddening
And very very messy
For each bend and strike
each twist and pierce
I can feel time escape from me
As if I’m losing months or years
My fingers remain taut on my calves
Keeping me afloat
As I continue to experience
The art that I’ve made
The roots from my head find purchase
And pull me from the space I’m within
But I find myself resisting their yanking
So I can feel this longer
But the pulling allows me to look
To see the world I’ve begun to paint
Across the malleable surface, I call
My easel
A carving of love and torment
A masterpiece of my own creation
Manifested with malicious intent
And monstrous in nature
I finally open my ears as well
But all I can hear is frustration
From someone else
Even though I’m alone
I know who it is,
A shadow of who I used to be
A being who once lived
Within the mirrors I gazed into
The one who was homeless,
Trying so desperately to hold on
To a dream that was unfathomable
And unattainable
The one who was hungry,
Who lived off cold cans of soup
Bought from a store that knew no English
But knew him by name
The one who was alone,
when a so-called kindred soul
That saw the plight he found
And instead swiftly left
Unwanted, unrealistic, and uncertain
Yet certain enough to know
To yell so loudly
Of their frustration
I attempt to open my hands,
To find the sword that I used
To make so much of my art
And the power it holds
I understand the frustration,
As the roots finally let me go
And my paleness regains its color.
Is this my art?
It’s not created out of love
It harbors so much anger
And the desire to punish
Someone just wanting to live
This can’t be my art,
As my art is created with a pen
Not a sword prescribed for punishment
That has no care for me
The universe inside my head
Would never appreciate this
For it only prevents their existence,
The need for the world to know them
It isn’t my art,
For this was born from when
I didn’t value the things I had
And took my world for granted
But now I stand in the home I’ve earned,
Listen to the heart I deserve,
And release the sword I had
So that it can be taken away from me
The tendrils release their hug for now
And I am set free from their cold grasp,
Yet I can’t help but stare
At this art that I’ve made.
I can’t believe I’m here.
Again.
Visuals in the poem is based off of this image: Dread”, by Yuumei, https://www.yuumeiart.com/dred