A friend once told me
That I had it easy:
“Look at your hands,
So soft and smooth
No lines nor calluses
You’ve never suffered
A day in your life!”

I guess your hands
Don’t get calluses
When you’re trying
To keep your head above the water

No, hands don’t get callused
When you’re in the middle
Of a dark ocean
Where the water
Stings your eyes
Where the cold
Saps your strength
And you don’t know
How long before
A great white shark
Drags you
Into the depths

And I can’t
Open up my mind
To show you
The flagellation welts
From self-imposed atonement
For all my failings

And so I have
Nothing to show you
How much I suffer.
All I have
Are these words:
These frictioned, pressured,
irritated conjurations
As my testament to pain.

Once again

Once again
“No Cigar”
Once again
Suffer more

	Once again
	Fall over
	Once again 
	Dirt wallow

Once again
Sadness shakes
Once again
Anger stings

	Once again
	Left behind
	Once again
	No reprieve

Once again
Shot called
Once again
Shot missed

	Once again 
	Point blank
	Once again
	Shallow grave

Once again
Fingers scratch
Once again
Claw earth

	Once again
	Shamble out
	Once again
	See light

Once again 
Shielded eyes
Once again
Weary steps

	Once again 
	Starting line
	Once again
	“The Race”.