To the choir

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By Anonymous (c2020). Photo courtesy of author.

I started to bite my nails in June
the morning after he took
Everything
from me.
We used to ride the bus together.
He sat at the back,
made fun of me
for living on the poor end of the street.

Boys will be boys

You know they like you
when their words
cut.
Push you down in the playground
and spit on your shoes.

Adults are just kids who
keep on playing games.
Tag
you’re it
touch you without your permission.
Hide
go seek
corner you in the dark.

Someone once told me that anxiety made you weak
lesser than;
admitting you have a problem
and you can’t help yourself.
Strip off your armour
child
your private battle is not so private.
Let them see you
Naked.
White walls
green gowns
cold duck lips
and a bit of pressure.

Someone once told me that anxiety feels like
you are leaning back on a chair
and
all of a sudden it starts to tilt backwards
like the world is spinning
off of its axis.

You don’t need to tell me
I used to sit in that chair every day.
Where I would sit
the cushions were threadbare,
Imprints from a time I couldn’t get up.

Someone once told me that anxiety is like a fog
creeping across the highway on a dark night.
Coming up from the ditch
thick like velvet.
You don’t notice it
until it envelops you.
You can’t see what’s ahead.

Go on child put on your mother’s lipstick and
sing your siren song, but
Heaven forbid you sing for help.
Like Odysseus and his crew
they think
you are trying to sink their ship.
They will plug their ears with wax
tie themselves to the mast
avert their eyes
and sail on.

Someone once told me that anxiety makes your heart beat fast
the feeling you get when you meet someone
for the first time
someone you might want
to share it All with.
But
the butterflies become bats
they come out at night
like monsters that live in the closet
Roxanne and her red dress
nocturnal.

Someone once told me that anxiety is like a pet dog
eager to please.
Cat
one moment, playing
the next
biting
clawing its way up your throat
Cat got your tongue.
Grab her by the pussy.

Someone once told me that anxiety will make you incapable of healing people.
You feel too much
forget things
can’t listen to someone’s story when
you’re trying to make sense of your Own.
How can you heal bodies when
your scars do not fade.
Striae,
deep purple
skin stretched all too quickly
before it was ready.
How can you be the right person
to translate
put her pain into words
and her words into language they hear
when you spend so much time reading faces
thinking
they hate you.

These little white pills leave
a bitter taste in my mouth
when I forget my glass of water.

I wrinkle my forehead
and swallow.
I count to three
before I look at myself in the mirror.

One
For the first time in months
Two
Years
Three
Lifetimes

I sleep.

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