Pressure by Bogdan Dragos

The close up black and white image of a woman wearing a superhero eye mask and smoking a cigarette
Image Source: Canva Pro

she slept with a small,

thin Batman plushie

between her


and often woke up

with it

soaked in sweat

The poor Batman looked



and suicidal.

Clearly he was facing a

villain he could

not hope to defeat

It was the dreams

that made her

sweat so

There was much pressure

in her dreams

The last one

was about her lower jaw

pressing against the upper


until the teeth came out

of their socket, all of them,

and she swirled them

around her mouth

like tic-tacs

and eventually swallowed them

one by one

until she choked

In another dream

she pressed

her thumbs against her


until they went in with

a crunchy sound followed

by complete silence

and pain

but the worst dreams

were those in

which she applied pressure

to others

and not to herself

There was a lot of


in her life

No longer being in your

twenties is

an existential crisis in itself

for this generation

she was 32

Still being stuck in a dead

end job

doubles that crisis

she worked as a

cashier at the local


Having no soulmate

adds another

1.5 units of crisis

on top

the last human being she

could call a lover

killed himself

when they were both 26.

He wasn’t strong enough

to take the pressure

so the pressure took him

But being strong

isn’t fun.

Real life ain’t no superhero


The only reward strength

gets here is

a prolonged suffering

Well, she was

pretty strong

She conquered even the

body’s natural

craving for bearing children.

A lot of pressure there

as well

especially when you see

others around your

age who

failed to resist this

and then try to make you

feel inadequate for

not being like them

She was no weakling

She took

the pressure

But then there’s the one

about lying with

unfulfilled dreams

while watching the time


Now this… this was the mother

of all pressures

It was the one that

took her lover away

Poor kid wanted to

be a writer

and life wrote all over him

it wrote heavy


that crushed him

They all came in

rejection letters

mightier than any


or gun

But she was still



and defiant against

the pressure

There is a rhythm to

the steps of

broken dreams

and it leads to apathy

and spite

And from there

you keep going

just because

of spite

That’s when you’ve lived

long enough to

see yourself

become the villain

as opposed to

dying as a hero


Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a dark office full of TV monitors. There he mostly daydreams and writes poems and stories. He also manages a poetry blog Daydreaming as a profession.

We would love to read your work. Interested? Please READ our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Bogdan’s writing always applies pressure on the heart and mind, compelling one to think above the mundane and realize that life and its challenges often turn a person into a shell of suffering. Do constant struggles make us stronger, or do they burn us out and transform us into beings with nothing good left to us? Moving forward in life but slipping into a darkness that will never let in the light. I feel myself standing at the border. Which way will I topple?
    Congratulations Bogdan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ヽ(•‿•)ノ Oh, thank you, Terveen!

      Honestly, I’ve completely forgotten about this poem. It was like reading it for the first time now :))

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Midian Poet says:

    Congrats Bogdan, right to the center of the target! Maybe it’s the constant pressure that makes us what we are – some can handle it, others can’t… sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps us afloat, otherwise we’d grow old and rot with full bellies of food in a beautiful armchairs in front of the TV.. and that’s who we are after all ….we are not!:)
    We are other pack…../ cut/ wolf howlingggggggg, storm/cut/ we are the poets:)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, I guess the people who can’t take the pressure are those you never hear about, while the others gain their place in history…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Kirsten says:

    That pressure, all too familiar. We always have a choice in the direction of our lives with the cards we’re given. Moving write, Bogdan. I always look forward to your poems. There’s always something that sticks and makes me think. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ( ⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃ Aw, these are truly warming words, Kirsten! THANK YOU!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kirsten says:

        You’re most welcome, always a pleasure. 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sg11953 says:

    Very profound and interesting piece Bogdan and who amongst us hasn’t felt that sort of pressure you write so intuitively about! I find your work fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (つ ✧ω✧)つ Thank you, Gail! Much appreciated 🙂


  5. And we can’t forget her bedfellow

    the daddy of all pressures….

    A formidable pair they is….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ( • )( • ) ⊂(╹ω╹⊂)

      Yep :))


      1. The mother looks well-stacked…yep

        Liked by 1 person

  6. jonicaggiano says:

    Wow I love this Dragos. There are so many pressures people have stacked onto other pressures. There is so much truth in your pieces, they tell a story truly about many of life’s terrible hardships. Rejections, well I could relate to that and how it feels. Sounds like the woman in the story was an incredible surviver to me. We ladies are tough characters – thanks for this great piece. Big hugs, Joni

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thank you, Joni!

      After all, it’s pressure that creates diamonds :))
      ᕦ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ᕤ

      Liked by 2 people

      1. jonicaggiano says:

        So true my friend. You are so welcome. Love my emoji. 🦋

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s