“You have to pay to get out of going through all

these things twice.” —Bob Dylan

As a child, I had fever dreams

about endlessness,

my bed cover

a vast country

I could never explore all of.

Circle dreams

with no way out.


A vague memory

of a Shel Silverstein poem

about some awful

ritual performed regularly,

like having your brains sifted.


I was a sick child,

often having blood taken,

so I came to know

the needle would

always come again



Now I get Botox injections

for pain management,

letting them give me

three months worth of headaches

all at once

to get it over with,

about thirty jabs

all over my head.


Deja vu makes me nauseous.

So do thoughts of an afterlife,

the sense that any of this

has happened before

or might happen again,

a dread of

days without end.


Yeats believed that history

repeats itself

in gyres,

resetting every

2,000 years.


The end of Stephen King’s

Dark Tower series

rings true for me

as the hero

is trapped

in an endless loop

that just restarts

every time it ends.


Nameless phantom,

will I ever truly know you?

Or will you always just be

a heightened anxiety

about the

doctor and the dentist,

something seen

out of the corner of my eye

that disappears

when I try to focus?