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Today's rhaps is on ... Flashbacks

Liz Vaughn, Sublime Luminosity, 2022



No warning

You look like another lane on the highway to manage but

No one else sees you so

I drive defensely across time-travel zones now

Hey we're moving!

This is not

Appeance & Reality chit-chat over Friday beer

This is

Life & Death so drive carefully and

Nobody gets hurt.


No sound

You creep into my brain like another language to decipher but

No one else hears you so

I keep going with the other words

Hey we're talking!

This is not

United Nations level interpretation

This is

Stay-in-your-lane conversation

So keep it one-dimensional and

Nobody gets hurt.


No tears

You take my breath and mobility but

Everyone's watching so

I need to keep the paralysis short and sweet

No one sees the hand over my mouth

Held down to stop screaming

That's the logic of this thing

If you're sane

(Yes Golyadkin so nice if insanity can take you away!)

Cry later so

Nobody gets hurt


Almost nobody.

17 JANUARY 2023


[Complex PTSD, like Complex Grief, compounds the strength of flashbacks by forcing multi-dimensions of awareness into our linear timeline of memories. Acceptable PTSD, like Acceptable Grief—the one that ends after the funeral and responds to the correct therapy—is supposed to end after the veteran gets back to the normal safe world. Some of us don't ever get there. Over thirty of every 100,000 veterans commit suicide. I dedicate these words to all veterans of violence, with and without medals.]

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