Shooting Stars

Ache and pain and shooting stars are
my middle of the night companions.
It’s dark and quiet when
            I slide into the machine and wait, while its gears mesh
            and soon, my teeth are grinding too.
The engine purrs, keeping my nerve endings raw
            and I hold my breath, waiting for the pistons to fire regularly.
When that engine is finally warmed up and the shooting stars
            are making the middle of the night feel like the middle of the day,
                        I breathe.

Air in my lungs is my new bedmate and
with a cadence and rhythm and focus
            I try and try
                        and try
                                    to slow down that engine of pain.
Sometimes I gulp 
and the engine coughs.

darkness returns
and my bedmate and I
are in synch and 
we both focus on the coming dawn.
The shooting stars pass by,
            the engine slows down,
                        and the pistons run out of steam.
Air fills my lungs.

© Rosemarie A. D’Amico 2019