Friday Poetry: "The Anatomy of Panic"

I’m so frustrated with the number of posts I’ve been missing lately—far too many for my taste, unfortunately. If it helps, I did start writing yesterday’s post, but then I had my first panic attack in... quite a long time. No trigger to speak of, either—just out of nowhere. (Apparently those B12 supplements are not all they're cracked up to be.)

Also, even worse: we have a two-for-two. Today, because I am evidently a complete idiot, I made the questionable decision to go to a Chinese New Year parade—featuring fireworks, large crowds, and strobe lights (you know, only three of my biggest triggers ever).

I think you can guess what happened next.

I just got home, and am sad and exhausted and my nerves are shot. I kind of want to cry for a decade or sleep for a century. Not entirely sure which one will win out.

But we’ve missed far too many weeks of Friday Poetry, so I thought I should at least post this poem—I wrote it a couple of weeks ago (right after a panic attack, somewhat ironically) and at first rather hated it, but now I think it’s not bad at all. In any case, I’m not in the best state of mind to write anything at the moment, so I do hope you like this one. xx

The Anatomy of Panic

here is your downfall: history repeating itself.
turning, turning, turning pages. you know the
story. you read it or you wrote it or maybe—
maybe a little bit of both. times like this, all you
can hear is the thunderclap, the gunshot,
the beginning of the end.

hands like ashes and tears like shattered glass
and lungs fluttering like the broken birds they’ve
become. turn the page and now you are the witch
you’ve been running from: burned, burning, about
to burn. you can’t much tell the difference anymore.

hello, fear. how have you been, old friend?

here is your downfall: flying, flailing, gulping air
that only fans the flames. most days you skirt the
edges, but when your bones stammer the melody
with no words, smoke curls around the screams
no one else can hear. turn the page and understand
that whatever surrender is, it’s never tasted so bitter.

fear has found you, darling, one-two-three-four
knocks like gunshots outside. here is your downfall:
you are lonely enough to open the door to her kisses,
like blood, like wine, like the tragedy of knowing how
it ends. turn the pages, faster, faster, faster. the story is
done, the thunder is coming, you’re coming undone in
the middle of the demons you bled onto the page.

here is your downfall, the right way to die: flying,
flailing, trapped in a history that repeats itself, a clock
that doesn’t know how to stop ticking. you’re fighting,
screaming, burning up, but darling, you know the ending.
what makes you think this time will be any different?