exhilarated, with visions
of power without bounds,
Paul is like Superman.
He climbs, he circles, he races,
he floats above reality
until paranoia removes all
semblance of his sanity.
Then he sees demons lurking in alleyways,
imaginary Mafioso poisoning his drinks and cigarettes
as well as the world’s water supply.
He is left to wander, pace,
click door latches as he goes in and out
of the house and up and down the stairs.
While he babbles unintelligibly, imperceptibly.
he keeps time to his internal orchestrations.
The voices he hears echo like violins
ever louder, faster, discordant
until a cacophony of drumbeats
and a tintinnabulation of scraping symbols
pound his brain.
He looks for an exit
where none exists.
There is no escape, no way out
and eternal silence.
Madeline Sharples co-authored a book about women in nontraditional professions called Blue Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (due out in 2010). More of her writing can be read at http://madeline40.blogspot.com/ and http://www.redroom.com/member/madeline40.