or, the words you scratch in your dark car in your tattered notebook in your friend’s yard on the night of her rehearsal dinner when you drive five hours to show up at dusk and end up sitting in your car and attempt to write your way out of a panic attack only to call your therapist’s office’s emergency line to coincidentally get your meds manager on the other end so that she can hear your tongue attempting to talk in coherent sentences and counters with a suggestion that you talk with a friend to help calm you down so you say you will do that and hang up the phone but the fact is that all the people that your mind knows are your friends yet that your brain says dislike you are enjoying themselves in the barn that you drove so long to be in and those people in that barn on that night are the thing that is making you panic in the first place so after two hours of writing down racing thoughts you turn over the ignition and leave the yard because your pen ran out of ink

the pen keeps moving
through stiffled air as wheels
rotate around me, drawing people
places they want to go.

I want to go somewhere,
else than where I presently am
not becasue I do not want to be
but becasue my mind looks for any excuse
to trap myself in statis
to keep my self secluded
from anyone not trapped between
these two temporal bones,
to silence all the whispers dancing
on dust motes the moment I leave
the room,
to hold my tongue from thrashing
about the conversations with
the thuds of a marooned flounder
not in its element,
to save myself from
feeling out of place like keys
in a freezer or Mickey Mouse
at the last supper,
to mute my self-deprication
to a socially acceptable level
– –

my I cannot act,
cannot raise my hand
towards the door or
force my head up from the page
made to seem to transfix me
I want to give this feeling
words so I feel I have
some control over it,
I want to talk my way out
of this quilt of anxiety my
mind sows around itself

I want to feel
to feel
like myself,
like everyone else,
like myself