The Nerve, by E. F. Schraeder
First I heard the furnace hum,
sending low whispered voices
from the basement.
Something wrong. Of course. Always
the wrong time for such expense.
But the service call fixed nothing.
Then the shrill ring pierced
from within like a daily toll
for each minute awake,
grinding time into a crumble of ideas.
Left me in a head splitting vertigo spin, coiled
beneath piled blankets, like heaped intentions.
As the ear became a hollow of bells
charging, throbbing, with an insistent pulse
so like a death toll
Every breath recounting
the things I have not done.
Author of a poetry chapbook, Schraeder holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D., teaches and works at a library part time. Schraeder’s work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, Allegro, Four Chambers, Glitterwolf, Slink Chunk Press, Hoax, the HWA Poetry Showcase, vol. III, and other journals and anthologies. Find more online at www.efschraeder.com