Panic Attack

the tightness isn't in my chest exactly
it's in my throat
and it's not really tightness...
it feels like my heart is trying to
up my throat and 
my mouth
to run screaming from this place

where the pressure
to perform
be brilliant

to fail at living down to my expectations
to the expectations i've decided others
have for me

slowly buries me alive

breaths shallow and quick
limbs going numb

not enough air
too much hot air

promises, promises

my head presses against my throat
slowly tightening
a noose

or a snare

to keep my heart in my body

i don't know which
which is better
does the external pressure
focus the sensation?

my ears flame

how is my blood going to fit?
why is it all running
away from my arms?

toward the burning of my ears
thickening my throat in the rush

fighting for room


my thick tongue 
clogging the escape route

pressure and purchase

Night Games

Cicadas buzz

One voice
Entering the silence
Cutting through
The honey thick air
Joined by another
Now two
Raising their voices
To the drowsing twilight
To the heat warped twilight
Calling the stars from their beds beyond the horizon.
A growing chorus of voices
Serenating waking fireflies
Taking flight
From the slowly growing stalks
Standing tall 
as they grow heavy with milk sweet corn
a cacophony
calling down the night
making room
for flashlight beams


Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a young girl sat up high
In a tower of her own making

Built on a foundation of heartbreak

Precariously standing tall

Praying for stability

Held together with the hopes and dreams 

of the life she wants


She sits in the window

The patchwork world spread at her feet

The divots

The peaks

The scars of all the lives lived on the surface


Her tower on the hill separates her

Puts her high above the world

Clouds and birds passing the windows she gazes from

Nothing to break the strings connecting her to the earth

Roots digging deep into the black dirt of her homeplace


But her dreams fuel her fire

A yearning for something beyond the stone structure that’s built her

A love for every cracked stone filled with hope for the future

Ribcage Drummer

My heart doesn’t understand the love my ribcage has for it.

A cage of flexible protection

Bending so my heart doesn’t break

Offering structure to the fluidity of my bloodwork

Strength and scaffolding

Expansion and boundaries


My heart, constantly pounding.

Beating against my framework.

Always fighting to get out.

To jump from my chest. 

To prove to the world its strength.

To prove that it’s a fighter


Clawing artery and valve

For each and every inch of love and passion.


I’ve spent so many years fighting them

Fighting their life-giving pull

Fighting each new shoot

Each new line of life adding strength and security


I’ve spent so many years searching for them

The roots that were severed

Cut off by new opportunities

Too perfect to pass on

Too necessary for continued growth

Replanted with more room for love

Replanted, but still severed and disorienting


I’ve been fighting

I’ve been yearning

I’ve been trying so hard

No matter what reality is.