As I breathe, oxygen
comes in, I become what
I breathe, yet I do not, 
carbon dioxide goes out.1

I’m not what came in,
I’m not what left me 
yet I’m both and none
after an instant, not.2

As I dream, melatonin 
comes in, I become what
I dream, yet I do not
as forgetfulness reigns.3

I’m not what I dreamt 
I’m not what I forgot, 
yet I’m both and none
after an instant, not.4


As I learn, memories
come in, I become what 
I retain, yet I do not,
as cortisol impairs me.5

I’m not what's learnt, 
I’m not what’s felt, 
yet I’m both and none,
after an instant, not.6


As I fade, a why do I?
comes in, I became what
I thought, yet I’m not
as the knot that kept
me alive unties itself.7

If I was what I felt,
was what I dreamt, 
was what is learnt,
with my last breath, 
after an instant, not.8


And yet I still linger
as images in your mind
about who I was, what 
would I hold true, 
assuming what I would
have but you never could, 
because I never could
even when alive pinpoint 
who I was after a second.9

If I were alive, 
for an instant 
after my last thought,
I would disagree 
with what I wrote 
yet after another, 
not. 

  1. Without them, there is no us, but without us, there would still be a them, don't hug the trunk, hug the leafy me:
  2. Oxygen finds its way into me, from gas to liquid, yet my sense of self remains intact, to pay constant attention to the exchange overwhelms:
  3. Melatonin makes us sleepy. When the lights dim, its empire begins to reign.
  4. There's a tick tock inside your brain, it turns on and off by the hour. So close to it is... to the pituitary, oh... stress might be near! It's cortisol.
  5. From dreaming to forgetting, from forgetting to dreaming... There's an oscillating dance: as soon as the cortisol bath is too hot, the hypothalamus signals to shut it down but if it gets too cold it signals the pituitary: Wake up the adrenal gland!
  6. But sometimes there's too much stress. I can't sleep. I can't concentrate. Was it the lack of sleep that started it or was it the stress? What was first the feeling or the thought?
  7. Why do you need to order who came first? If you find the guilty one, it won't change what you felt and later thought or thought and later felt.
  8. Fear and stress, what a pair! I'm now afraid I won't sleep. I'm diluted in the memory of a previous night. What keeps you awake is not what is happening, but what happened or could happen.
  9. Why, you, dreaded stress... Why can't you keep me away from eternal sleep? And because you can't, I'll run toward the embrace of ephimeral life. I'll find a way to ignore you as there's nothing more informative than a good night sleep after having learnt the most I could that day.
Signature Lina Ru