PTSD by Josiah Derby

Josiah Derby

Cue the abduction of the remote for the tv channel
Flip through constantly, never static, change channel.

Confronted by a boisterous being advocating a late-night shopping spree
Kitchen cutlery, so sharp and clean, what a strange channel.

Dedicated to selling me crap products. Selling lies, how beastly
The creature slashes into a hunk of meat, to derange- – channel

every calming thought you ever had…switch to abc.
There’s been a stabbing, it’s on the news. Exchange “channel”

with the word “focus”. Focus on something else. Flip to Nat Geo, “Joshua Tree
has spiky leaves”…spikes equal stabbing…we’re back to stabbing- -out-of-range channel

sends static screaming out the speakers, stabbing my ears…well in actuality
the stabbing was in my leg…d-don’t forget the hand! B-r-e-a-t-h. Estrange. Channel

your inner therapist. Estrange yourself from the memories, don’t slip into your idiosyncrasies.
Surf until you find peace. Peace of mind…Peace. Piece. Piece of metal- -NOPE. Change channel.

Cue the cycle of surfing for a channel to be my savior. Animal Planet. Africanized Honey Bees.
Stingers stab. Stab like knives. In my leg…d-don’t forget the hand! How strange? Channel-

-ing good thoughts didn’t work. One last attempt at salvation. “Western Australia Coral Peas…”
Blood red- -like the blood that waterfalled down my leg…out my hand. This deranged channel

surfing was supposed to block the thoughts. Betrayed by tubes that fire cathode rays.
I can feel it. Flooding back- -just like the blood- -all because I flipped to a shopping channel.

Since birth Josiah has been exposed to a life surrounded by violence and trauma. These experiences he finds most interesting to explore. In his writing he seeks to better understand himself and hopes his writing will connect with readers and let anyone struggling with life know that they aren’t alone.

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