The day ends with the peaceful bangs
of raindrops on the metal a/c unit
The sound of ambient music
permeates the room
minimizing the tinnitus
and inviting slumber

Drifting off to sleep, there’s a quiet calm
for fifteen to twenty minutes the world washes away
as another long day of keeping the intrusive thoughts at bay ends

Startled awake
fear rushes in
heart rate elevated
fists clenched
prepared for a fight
that will never come

louder than before
measured breathing
to calm the ringing
and the cacophony
of internal despair

The rain has stopped
concentrate on the music
crush the anguished thoughts
and drift to sleep

Somnolent yet aware
intrusive thoughts
turn into flashbacks
the brain must decide
what is real and what is not
while waking Consciousness
to help fight and stop the pain

Thoughts and feelings
must be quelled with spoken words
breathe slowly
this is not real

sometimes the tears flow
and there is no more sleep
only sorrow
and memories
of long ago fought horrors

sometimes unconsciousness returns
and the cycle continues

sometimes the nighttime fight is rewarded
through moments of peace
extending throughout the night

every now and again
when the sleepless nights
stretch into days, weeks
the ingestion of mild poison
numbs the flow
of constant pictures
no one else can see

Whatever moment consciousness returns
the brain must shift
return to a busy state
of constant focus and effort
to keep the intrusive thoughts away

The morning song of birds in the nest
in the a/c unit housing begins
Their chirping starts another day
for the robins and for the hypervigilence

The brain returns to the minefield of horror and suffering
fighting simultaneous battles on many fronts
so the body can continue to function
and keep the outside world oblivious
to the trauma within

The brain does its job well
and is exhausted at the end of the day
but it cannot rest
it is time for bed
the brain must fight on
so the body can rest

The ambient music returns to soothe the torment,
but it is never quite enough