Anxiety (CoWritten with Susan Lin)

this is where it starts-
right before
i think about getting out of bed-
with sylvia plath’s voice
will start saying in my head:

“your room isn’t your prison, you are”

i am a 5 foot prison
anxiety my warden
prison girl
with voices,

like the voices are too loud,
everybody going in for the kill,
and the kill - that’s me-
when there’s a person who says they love
they love me
and i just want to say that
i'm too anxious to even
know what that means
cause all of a sudden
i'm too busy looking
in my backpack
for my purple pencil
all of a sudden
my god if i don't find that pencil  
i don’t know what will happen if i don’t find that pencil
maybe my legs or my lungs will stop working
maybe my heart
will stop beating -

my anxiety has me on speed dial
greets me
in parking lots
or movie theaters
or fucking staircases
this bitch isn’t just a double text-er
she’s a three times a row
2 am hey
9 pm what u up to
random ass poop emoji fucker

you know when you stop dating someone
they start getting really hot
yeah my anxiety
she got really hot
modeling low cut blouses stitched with abandonment
she wears lipstick in the shade of memory loss
a kiss from her tastes like amnesia
tastes like eating my own voice every day
like silence is a room i can be in without
taking up too much space
where i'm yelling at myself to SPEAK
but i’m afraid my tongue is only fluent in crazy

but self who started writing this poem
so concerned about holding your pencil
you forgot how to outline yourself in metaphors
you are not crazy

you are lucky

lucky for a hand to hold,
whispers, rocking you to sleep in the back of a car
times you knew you were safe
lucky for people taking you back home
to where you were a kid again,
staring at the night sky
through the moonroof,
smiling like maybe this was a dream
maybe this was just a stuttering dial tone
when anxiety seems to be the only person who has your number
remember to call your strength
call your therapist
call your sister
remember to pour trembles into voicemails
remember you have horse shoes inside your throat
a tongue clanging with imagery
you hand out pieces of vulnerability
and people translate it into hatchets for their lonely
remember anxiety calls because she's lonely
can’t stand how small her hands look
when they’re not around your throat
wear her fingers like a necklace
holding your chin up
use her nails to dig deeper

the scratches are not scars
they are seam lines to your growing fabric
bless the curses in your ouija board cranium
and change the voices in my head.


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