Masters of War


You came onto me so fast. Like a sick lover. But, we were never meant to be. Me and you.


You’ve been away for years now. Yet, you linger in me, like a disease.


You’ve haunted my reality. You slipped into my dreams. The ones I cannot even explain, but I can feel. And when I feel those dreams, where it’s dark and I’m trapped, you’ve breached my barrier. I hate those dreams. The steel knights in the basement of an unknown house. Where mice droppings in a trunk somehow equate with infinity. You were behind those. I mostly feel them when night circles me, and the lights are low. That’s where you lurk.


You’re a demon of the night. Your tricks are all the more cruel when I’m supposed to be sleeping. You want me to feel the tick of my clock, the glow of the faintest lights. You know my mind will catch fire.


But, I don’t need blackness to feel your presence. I feel you in the morning, when I open my eyes, and inventory my life. When I use the same shampoo I did during our time together. I smell you when I get into my car. You have the worst smell. You try to mask it, but I’ll never mistake you.


You even managed to take over my music. Those songs I listened to when you entered my conscience. You made it so bad that some melodies mean an aching chest, but you didn’t take them all. I sang “Let it Be,” when I thought I may die. You told me it was my fault, but I saw through your chaos to heal. When your tentacles left, so did my self-blame.


I’ve wanted you out since the day I learned your name. It’s not a beautiful name. It’s memorable only for its destruction. Lucky you, but even hurricanes have a name.


You violated me in the worst possible way. Your penetration went straight to my epicenter. You shut me off, confused me, and shook me. But, it didn’t last long.


What you tried to do when you sent that lightning bolt to strike my mind and tear through me like an earthquake, it didn’t work. For a brief second, all I wanted to do was cry out for help, but I couldn’t. I think I hate you most for that. You were close, but you didn’t take me with you, into that night. I wasn’t alone with you in my bedroom, others came to save me. You didn’t win, but you made it personal. I’m keeping score. You will never win.


You found the way to me, but I took me back. I beat you, with me. My persistence was never to blame, you were. I shall will you away, until the day I die, in peace. My death will not be your claim. You won’t be there.


Stop looming in my subconscious. I was never your victim. Panic me as you will, I won’t acknowledge you.


From, Jackie


You that never done nothin’ But build to destroy You play with my world Like it’s your little toy


You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain ~ Masters of War by Bob Dylan


*Author’s Note: I haven’t been feeling very well for the past few weeks. And, everything seems to be compounded by this time of year, which is when my disease was taking a strong hold. Each year, I have decided to take back the day of March 26, which is a pivotal and gross day in my onset. This year, I felt a compelling need to write, to try to ease the pain. Inspired by the letter that Elton John wrote to cocaine while he was in treatment, I wrote a letter to AE. I began penning this piece with a blank slate for its title, but realized that Masters of War was playing in my head as I worked.