I live in constant fear
of the goose bumps on my skin, waiting,
expecting the hair on my arms to stand on end.
pushing up through my skin.
2. My mother can’t sleep through the night,
constantly checking for some visual sign
of telepathy, her cheek permanently frozen
to the screen of her cell phone as she lies in the lightless room.
3. My sister’s habits habituate
into those of a lightning bug in the daytime.
Unusual and unexpected, five toe touches
on this carpet’s edge, seventy-two
fingertips on her own eyelids.
Idly fidgeting until it is time
to zip around in blinding light.
4. Day after day I am weighed
down by mountains beneath the ocean’s surface,
chained, hovering just above the break,
gasping for dear life and
screaming for salvation.
5. I can’t control my thoughts
(my thoughts control me).
6. Thought bubbles in my head
only float for a little while, clouding
my vision and crying for their lightning,
as thunderbolt after thunderbolt stikes—
anxiety sounds like the color black.
7. I lie on cheap sofas spasming and sweaty,
skyscrapers of disappointment
looming over my miniscule banged up
Toyota of a body. There’s a dent on my side door.
8. When I sit, still as a smudge of black ink
left over on my thumb, I pray that the vending machine
won’t steal my money—I only have two seventy-five in my pocket.
9. I call my dad. He is the messenger.
10. Any two words can spearhead a revolution; my eyelids always lose and the floodgates break down, the people in the streets scatter for safety.
11. If I think about the future, the sky becomes one gigantic storm cloud, the world becomes a tornado, and everyone survives but me. The heavens turn dark and I am thrown
into a world made up of a computerized font. Courier New.
12. Courier New is very monochromatic. An angular typeface. My face is pretty round.
13. When the storm ends, I am black and white with exhaustion, a pressure washed pane of glass, waiting
to again need a thorough cleaning. The pressure washer comes every few days.