That persistent dread

Fault Lines (black and white photograph)
Untitled (black and white photograph) by Paul Politis
Fault Lines (black and white photograph)
Untitled (black and white photo) by Paul Politis

The End
The flame that lured me through the pain
Of frantic pleasure has flickered and gone out.
My rigid fingers scream with gout,
And suddenly I’m in the wilderness again.
Recoiling from the shards of luckless revels,
Glutted, exhausted, disappointed. I,
Steppenwolf, have packed my bag. I’m going
Back to my native Steppe to die,
Goodbye to sparkling, smiling masquerades,
Ladies too lovely, too ingratiating.
Behind the suddenly fallen curtain,
I know the old familiar dread is waiting.
Slowly I go out to greet the enemy.
Harried by anguish, with laborious breath
And pounding, apprehensive, heart,
I wait, wait, wait for death.
— Hermann Hesse

Where nothing’s wrong and no one’s asking
But the fear’s so strong it leaves you gasping
No way to last out here like this for long
— David Berman, All My Happiness Is Gone