The Perfect Punishment (Poem)


Grotesque claws clench his soul
And dig into his chest
Like butcher hooks.
They eat away at its sinews
Like a starved wolf
Delighting in the cries of its prey.

The pain that engulfs his body stings worse than a wound soothed by sulphur
Yet it eludes comprehension how it could stem from his thoughts.


He groans in the agony of his mind’s torture
And hisses in the memory of an empty day.
Where is this all leading to? Is there any point?
Questions like these buzz in his mind like persistent flies.


Torn between what-ifs & what is, he remains trapped in the prison of doubt.
And even in this dark, claustrophobe’s paradise,
He’s kept safe by the levelheadedness of ball and chain,
Making any progress a Herculean nightmare.


Every direction is concealed from his vision
But he sees fiends lurking in the depths of every point of gaze.
Moving is a risk. Staying still is a risk. Doing all is a risk. Doing nothing is a risk.
But being stationary and awaiting demise is the far worse option.
He’d rather dance on a collapsing floor than linger in the hope of not being crushed.


He stares at the ceiling mesmerised by a destitute’s mirage. So close, yet so far.
He is teased by the fantasy of what he sees as a passage.
Maybe a path out of this godforsaken abyss.

But living so long in isolation and silence creates delusions.
This is probably just one more. Probably. Most likely.
Surely. Certainly. Definitely.


All words he uses to console himself
For he knows that the tease is merely a tease:
A ruse to make him suffer
By having his escape right in sight
Yet impossible to reach.

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