This is a poem that I wrote in my head over the course of several migraines. If you think it’s depressing, I apologize. I think it’s hilarious, and it cheers me up. This is for all those fellow headache-sufferers out there, most of whom probably have more legit reasons for your pain than being dehydrated.
“Eating Toast in the Dark”
I am a person who loves to move and make and do.
But once every few weeks, I can’t.
It comes on gradually
And more often than not
I don’t notice until it’s too late.
The rest of my day is relegated to bed.
Too awake to sleep,
Too much pain to think too hard
And no light to read anyway
Too nauseous to eat anything but crunchy bread
Reduced to eating toast in the dark.
As I lie here, I categorize the patterns of pain.
The red beetle, pulsating
Triangulated between my right eye and right temple.
The half-facemask, dropping a plumbline
From behind my eye, through my sinus and into my teeth.
The golden half helmet, drawing a line
Over the top of my head
And around one side, under the ears
Perfectly framing the right hemisphere.
I imagine the relief if the whole thing would just peel out
Like a section of orange
With that sticky peely sound.
As I lie here, I imagine
All the ways I’m going to get my crap together so this doesn’t happen again.
I’ll start exercising – running, even.
I’ll eat salads and saute leafy greens.
I’ll remember to take my vitamins.
I’ll stop staying up ’till 3 watching youtube.
I’ll drink more than a tablespoon of water every day, for goodness’ sake.
I’ll call the acupuncturist whose card is bent and broken from living in the pocket of my jeans for three weeks.
Reiki. Healing prayer. Therapeutic massage. Mouthguard. I’ll try them all in a systematic pattern.
I make these plans
Knowing they will fall out of my head when I get up
And wait under my pillow
For the next time I flop down with a cold, wet, washcloth over my eyes.
As I crunch, my jaw pops
Sending waves of lime green light into my cerebellum.
A different person lies in this bed at this occasion,
With different thoughts and feelings than the one that normally occupies this body.
I’m too sick to have her thoughts, and she’s too busy to have mine.
I wonder, if we met, if we would be friends.
I would bore her, and she would irritate me.
I try to sleep, and savor these, my only thoughts,
Rewriting this poem every time
I am reduced to eating toast in the dark.