Oljado; Descolada

(From Dravet Syndrome Blues)

I’ve invested considerable time
Asking if situations were scarier than they were
Or I wasn’t as scared as I was
Or if I was it was justified
And if I was scared, it meant I was feeling something.

I internalized in my coping mechanisms
Affected a nervous tic which started as an inside joke
Stared blankly on rollercoasters, refusing to smile
I hate rollercoasters.

I have a screenplay whose scenes I am forever reliving out of sequence, all about eyes:
dogs with Doric columns for ribs drink me in through hollow eyes, no love for humans;
A woman herds sheep over trash piles as a helicopter descends near, her kohl eyes like
Cleopatra through her burqa;
Carrying my comatose daughter on a stretcher, unblinking;
My mother’s eyes rattle and pingpong unfixed like a doorstop spring as she dies of
A carful of confused men bracketed by the sights of my rifle, they know I hold their lives
in my trigger finger, I squint

Still, I laugh loud and easy
And tend to overshare when I write, because being genuine and vulnerable is my brand
I facebook message people I barely know trying to start open-ended conversations
I tell dad jokes
I try to keep my eyes open
Because I don’t like what I see when they’re closed.

I write to force the words out
Like a cow who needs to be milked
To give names and footnotes to my anxieties and terrors.


Published by: David Guba

David Guba is originally from Hawai'i, and lives in Albuquerque with his wife and three daughters. In addition to blogging at A Bareknuckled Affair, he is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner ,a terrible skateboarder, and a very good cook. His work has appeared in The Good Men Project, Slate, The Daily Dot, and the Penmen Review. He has authored a poetry collection, Dravet Syndrome Blues, available for Kindle via Amazon.

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