Fever Dreams

by Hotblack

the despair that grows in me
does so quietly
buckling down,
nailing in nails,
wrapped in a kind of permanence
that I hate to think about.

it is seldom seen,
to send up shoots
in the panicked dreams
of my 3 a.m. self,
whose subconscious seems
best resigned to such things.

it rises,
bilious, seeking the night
etching window's glass
which only seeks the night.

I lay my cheek against its coolness
and wonder whether
it has the peace I seek.

it is only a moment.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2020

Posted for Poets and Storytellers


  1. This is a visceral write. That half-waking remembrance of vivid, anxious dreams and the hope that you can leave them behind with a shift in position is familiar.

  2. The quietness of its progress makes this sort of despair even more terrible. It's so hard to protect ourselves from what we can't quite see. Still, the speaker suggests, I wonder if embracing and understanding it might not bring a level of peace.

    1. My daughter came back from college in Seattle yesterday--I feel relieved--at least for now

  3. Anxiety is a hard to manage beast in the best of times, but even those who are experienced in ways of working through it can get blindsided if it starts to creep about in ways it hadn't done before. May everyone feeling it find moments of respite, and hopefully draw something from those moments to help them face the next things ahead.

  4. That 3 a.m. moment of truth is often far more sobering that we need. Best to focus on the positive.

  5. The fragility in this is palpable … This is beautifully written, Audrey.

  6. I know this. So good to hear it in someone else's words. It's only a moment saves me.

  7. Figureless despair has never been better expressed. Empathetically "enjoyed" this.

  8. So vivid... and will resonate with anyone who has woken up desperate and anxious at 3AM!

  9. Timely and dark. I think we can all relate. Be well my friend. Keep writing...we all need it.

  10. Sigh .. how I feel this poem, Audrey! It's a distressing situation no doubt waking up at 3AM battling anxiety. The vulnerability in your words here is palpable and relatable.

  11. A gorgeous piece. I hope you and yours are safe.

    Greetings from London.

  12. Wow, I so get it. My 3am self is a pest. Love your work, Audrey. Hope you and yours are well~


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