Panic & Attack at College

trapped in a corner between fault and mistake

my heart beats so hard

and so loud

all sense is obscured in sick fear (blind and deaf)

all that is left is skin (touch.)

In this darkness of thought and sight

I wrap my arms around human anchors (reality breaks)

and quake till the waves stop.

Panic & Attack in America

a girl screamed like an animal and I woke

only a screen and ten feet of air

separating me from their fight

the Jersey Shore turned ugly at 2 a.m.

I cowered against the pale wall, swaddled in dark sheets

the only light from the porch flourescent across the way

flickering punches and profanity flew thick

she kept screaming, begging on her knees for them to stop

pulling on their clothing, now torn and bloody

my heartbeat in my eyes, resounding with

dull thuds of knuckles on flesh

scrambling for each other’s pain, falling down the stairs

their faces broken and twisted, they were not human anymore, I shook

and they tossed a tanned shirtless [someone] over the third floor balcony

she shrieked and was cut off, thrown into the wall – “shut up”

my windpipe closed just in time for the cops to show up

they pounded up the stairs yelling, guns waved around

she was crying softly now, I retched into the sink

mascara running down her face as they barked questions at her

I choked on

a horror in me awake, that visited

every night, the fear

that feels like dying

and nothing will be or is

beautiful;the demon animal in their faces

that triggers a break  in me, of mind and body

I am eaten and fall

fair son (fort portal, summer 2013)

upon leaving, the last a terrible tirade

I wandered home, a great explorer from Europe

skin glowing without light, hair dark from too many shadows.

We slept on tinder, a great tree-built tradition

high in the elephant-grass hills.

the walk down to the lake beneath us was long,

and I burned my soles, arriving dusty to the enveloping tree shade

where I fell, over the rocks and into the murky greeny-brown

ka-splash silence

everything suspended for a moment

and break the surface to air again

still aching from a year of misunderstanding, my form

my frame, my body

just really wanted to win something, do it right for once

so I began kicking, arms pulling,

working every muscle till it burned

I slowly swam, the far shore my focus

rocky, looming, dramatic grey cliffs

it seemed hours, but I used the last bit of my strength

to heave myself out of the unknowable darkness

tearing skin from my arms and legs, I collapsed

heaving air into my diaphragm as I lay beneath swaying palm trees

bleeding onto the rocks, water and sweat diluting each drop

running from me in rivulets, soaking the fallen reeds

(I conquered fear of the unknown)

and I couldn’t see the far shore.

I need feminism because

though I know that God is there,

good, full of good things,

wants me to grow and be purposed

I still am terribly afraid. And my fears have been confirmed

in glance, word, action

as though I am nothing more than an animal

on their hunt. Though I am told repeatedly

that I am overacting, over-reacting, over-everything

too much

that does not change the fact that I am still wary

and doubtful that I will ever find someone who is not

just being a guy.

http://www.takebackthenight.org/

consistent metaphor

The ice is thin, but I am light

just enough to glide on it, twirling

giddy, over-the-top sliding

“Having fun?” they ask from the well-lit sidelines

I am. For now I can spin

just waiting for that incredible plunge

that sudden second of insecurity

which pulls me

under

to be lost again, always drowning,

fists dull-thump pounding up

trapped beneath.

last night I toss and turn

did you know I dreamed of you

that the dead could speak to me,

beautiful icy-grey, they were afraid

so I dragged my sister from hell’s purgatory

with extension cords wrapped about her wrists

it took all our strength, we could have been trapped there too

she was free but still dead

her head lolled to the side in my hands

and I couldn’t even find her shadow.

I wandered our old neighborhood, you know,

found the looming house, all new

and searched for the old in it,

I wandered from room to staircase

and the wooden panels grew fuzzy, blurred in my eyes

I began to suspect I was asleep but pressed forward in the black

feeling nothing but the creak beneath my feet

hearing nothing but the desperate whispers of the dead,

their skirts spread like my mother’s wedding dress on the lawn

see me, then you don’t.

I feel so young and naked

like there is always something I’m not getting

I’m not quite there and it’s cold.

It would be nice to be ready for something and not

always so unequivocally inadequate, dangling

on the edge of what’s going on,

where is everyone, anyways?

It’s too quiet. I’m someone else,

words escape me yet again.