CN: stress, mental health Genre: space opera poem
Pulled in all directions.
This can’t be good, right?
My suit won’t tolerate much more of this.
I feel like that elastic action hero from days of old.
So far there’s only some pressure on my joints.
They said that the suit would only stretch thin and not me.
But I’m also stretched thin.
In my mind at least.
T-minus-never will I be left at peace it seems.
Even in space, where I long to be.
Too many thoughts, too many demands on myself.
Pull, pull, pull.
They’re telling me I’m tolerating it well.
The suit that is.
Fabric that will keep me alive in deep space.
I wish they had invented something like this for my brain.
Stretch it, stretch, stretchity-stretch.
Then it all bounces back again.
Intact. Serene once again.
When was the last time I felt serenity?
I long for a vessel alone, in the quiet.
Where my mind is also silent.
No one but me and the stars and planets and quasars.
Where I can just be.
Where I wake up every day to zero to-dos.
Where my companions are comets and stars.
Where each moment is unscripted, unstructured.
Where no one calls my name.
Where no one asks me anything.
But now they are calling me.
Making sure I’m conscious in this testing module.
Where they pull, pull, pull.
I say the affirmative, wishing I weren’t.
Wishing it would all shut down.
Too many thoughts.
Longing for the silence.
Hopefully soon, I will be up there.
I just have to smile and nod for now.
Then without them suspecting a thing,
I will get my ship.
And I will take off.
Away from the pull.
Away from the noise.
Away from my thoughts.
With only the deep to welcome me.
Stretched Thin, Longing for the Deep © 2023 Cait Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. This is a work of fiction from the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. For more information, contact Cait Gordon.
Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, The Stealth Lovers, and the forthcoming Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the multi-genre disability fiction anthologies Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too.
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