The Madness of Nettles

Picking madness out of my life
like a hiker in bad country
legs festering with nettles;
there’s a moment that divides
the pain from the acceptance;
the desire for wide open country
from laying down to die;
madness draws the boundary of the possible
closer and closer
until the hope of relief,
of even a place to sit,
and commit to picking those bastards out of my flesh
is too—

Clouds in the country of madness
still whoosh,
still poof,
still rain
on the pain
of shame.

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