The Ghost of Isolation

(originally published in The Coffeelicious)

In the depths of emptiness, there is no sound.
The room is filled with silent music,
but I want to — I need to — turn it off.
My head is pulsating, pounding.

I hear the echo of my soul in the distance.
And beyond these confining walls,
voices begin to howl.

The stillness of this bleak, tempestuous night
invites the ghosts to come out and play.
This blackness, darkness, is an apparition’s haven.
The ghost of isolation pays me a visit,
and though unwelcome, it does not leave.
It refuses.

Treading through oceans of nothingness,
I feel the shallowness of my empty soul.
In this dismal state, I shout out: “Is anyone there?”
But, of course, no one is.
I am trapped in an echo chamber — 
the only music that comes to my ears is the ricochet of my voice.

I am in dialogue with myself.The echoes dissipate, and waves come crashing down to break the silence.

 

This is surely a nightmare;
I tell myself it will pass. It doesn’t.
I weigh two options and the future appears grim.
One: end it all now; the ghost won’t leave unless I accompany him.
Two: return to the confines of the four walls,
welcome the howling voices as your neighbors.

No change is necessary, I conclude reluctantly.
Returning to my chamber, I feel at home, melancholy.

The stillness of the night
invites the ghosts to come out and play.
In the blackness, the darkness,
the ghost of isolation does not go away.