Malaise: A Poem Written on the M Train

Malaise.

How do I communicate this familiar, yet foreign-sounding word.
A hurricane of liquid feces?
A tromp through a briar thicket?
The crystallized moment when a falling guillotine blade pierces skin, that surge of sharp pain, steel against flesh, stretched out in time, the constellations of thoughts and sensations felt ad eternum?

No, too sensual, too physical, too theatrical.

Malaise is more like a chronic slowing-down.

Every step,
Every breath,
Every
Moment
Is
Ex-
hausting.

Not blunt pain
Nor sharp pain.
A slow-cooked suffering. Heat turned down. A nice simmer.

-Nathan Le Master, July 2016

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