Black Balloon

Written by: Heather Ober

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star,"
My mind recites in garbled tongue.
The light spreads like an oil spill,
Brighter, hotter than the sun.
Hear it crackle, watch it spark,
See each colour lick the floor, 
A dizzy war of light and dark
As feral smoke fills every pore.
Shallow breath, depleted lungs,  
A sea of black designed to drown. 
Clinging to my faintest thoughts 
Like slinky silk or heavy shroud.
And as I watch it float away, 
This lethal, perverse black balloon.
I pray that it won't veer off course, 
That it won't spread or burst too soon.
A devil lounges on my chest 
To play this grim and dangerous game. 
The air he hoards like silver coins  
Invigorates the growing flames. 
Time begins to melt and ooze,
Acrid wax within my veins.
Feel them trickle, watch them blur,
Tears that drip like acid rain.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star,"
My mind recites in peaceful tone. 
The light is soft, the heat is warm
As pain leaks slowly from my bones.  
And when the lasting ash has cooled,
When piercing dread no longer looms, 
I'll love and hate and crave that light
From this lonely black cocoon.