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Running on Empty

by Chris Sorrenti

eleven o’clock at night
stumbling through the woods
walking into trees
your mind exposed to the chill cut breeze
turn the walk into a run
falling knee deep into a swamp full of trouble
trying to understand
how you got to be this way
lost in this forest
of ill repute
when you’re running on empty

take a trip to a small town
where you once lived
most of your friends have already gone
they moved out years ago
but there’s still the odd old sidekick
who just couldn’t get away
you hear the ghosts begin to stir
as he goes to say your name
and suddenly you’d like to go back
to the way things were before
but you’ve lost your innocence
the rapture
of knowing it’ll never happen again
cause you’ve learned the art
of running on empty

take another pill
saying this’ll be the last
yet knowing
there’s very little it will do
cause you’ve been up all night
talking to the walls
your fuel gauge sitting in the red
all you inhale is fumes
so you go for the bag
in dresser drawer
reach down for a couple more
but it’s six o’clock in the morning
and you have to be at work by eight
convincing yourself you can still go in
pour yourself another drink
the boss sits quietly in his office
no more no less the wiser
until he looks over and calls your name
with an errand to deliver
but your eyes are tight
as peas in a pod
your legs are miles away
there’s a trembling
in your arms and head
as tremors begin to spread
all through your body
no energy left to even lift a finger
when you’re running on empty

© 1987
Revised © 2018

100 hits as of July 2019


Posted on 12/01/2018
Copyright © 2019 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/03/18 at 03:31 PM

This is really a powerful piece, Chris, just pulls me along in dread and a sort of inevitability. My favorite lines among many - "falling knee deep into a swamp full of trouble" and "your fuel gauge sitting in the red all you inhale is fumes" . Thanks, Chris.

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