the shriek

the woman shrieked 

and fell headlong 

into her pillow, dispossessed 

by her own mind 

in a blunted shard of a moment

that no one witnessed 

as she cried out with feelings 

that she could not put words to 

for they were untamed 

but caged, like shapeless animals 

deep inside her ribs 

and would remain there, unknowable 

until the day came

(both feared and longed for) 

that brought the still finality of death 

and thus it was the case 

that her muffled cry went nowhere 

only to return, mournfully 

from the cotton sheets 

back into the damp cavity 

of her hollowed mouth 

filled with the stagnant heat

and abased sadness 

of her breath. 

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