Kenophobia, Claustrophobia

Standing in a black space,

Empty yet overcrowded,

Busy from the screams in my head,

I see nothing by the images imprinted on my brain.

I gulp for air, but it’s hot, sticky,

Finding a fresh breath is suffocating.

Sometimes, a tiny gap in the abyss above

Peels back and reveals white space,

A fresh place, where

Promise and freedom might possibly embrace.


But, short-lived.


I used to think the dark was an open world,

Endless like its possibilities,

But I awoke last month with my arms behind my back

And the rope on my wrists gets tighter.

They open the gap, I’m given a tap, and water has fallen in,

Not to drink, mind, or wash, or to cool my brow,

But to stop my sleep,

To rob me of rest,

To ache my eyes,

And only when I apologise for living and breathing,

For inhabiting any void at all,

Does the water stop, and I can breathe.


It’s the void’s way or the high way, right?

There is no rhyme or reason.

It is only the reason of the choice maker

And can be as irrational as it likes.

It opens when it suits, closes when it likes,

And the ropes tighten when I resist.


But what if I was to escape?

What if I found the light?

The brighter space? The white?

I’ve seen it before, lived in it even,

I remember it’s cold openness,

The blinding reality of just how alone I am,

But it’s used as a threat, now, and the panic…

Oh, the panic.


I’ll stay here a while longer.

I don’t want the torture to stop.

I don’t want the void to leave me.

One day, I’ll be thrown out,

Chewed up and half eaten,

Played with and bored of,

And I will find a new void to imprison me.

Author: shaunmendum

I am a professional dancer, and aspiring choreographer and writer. I love the freedom to create entire worlds in my head, and to give them life on paper.

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