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Shannon Callow Apr 2019
I ran away today; and so I failed.
I couldn’t face my biggest fear; instead I bailed.
Suffocated from the inside out,
I was trapped and full of doubt.
Screaming on the inside, quiet on the outside;
within fear and anxiety is where I reside.
puritypuke Jan 2018
last time i fell in love
i puked my guts out
trying to contort myself into
someone i never should've been
im different now

im falling in love again
i think im not sure
things have been so twisted for me
im not really sure what love is
but i hope you're good to me
it'd be nice to hold your hand again
mrs kite Dec 2016
faux leather cracking, mauve in between
soft swoosh and wheels creaking
14 minutes and 38 seconds
your back stiffening, careful not to lean
too far back, in case the couch swallows you

why would you put such a small picture
in such a large frame? a sigh
you can’t run away from your anxiety attacks
you know

I know.

this is nothing like the movies
the bathroom is out of order
and there are barely any notes
on her clipboard
45 minutes and 22 seconds
let me know if the sadness gets worse, alright?


a child is gagging in the waiting room
you rush out without the copay
but you’ll be back again, soon.
Last Arpeggios Oct 2016
It’s the season of sickness.
The ruminant roars,
disarms me with hunger,
Feeds me

poison, contagious
violence; ****** of my
Control, spiller of
my Secret:

‘I am gross.’
Bathroom lights stare at me,
Toilet flushes betray my ears.
Only Courage,

Hanging on
the edge of a lash, leaking
with every pause of breath,
can save me.
written October 2016
Shannon Callow Jan 2016
Bugs are crawling all over my hands; yet they're the kind only I can feel and see -
the germs I visualise as cockroaches covering everything around me.
A 3rd change of clothes in 5 hours to protect myself against their power to bring me harm,
my umpteenth hand wash trying to get rid of them; my brain turbulent with alarm.

My head is noisy; full of chaotic sadness and voices,
peculiar images and blurry characters are all I can see - not by choice.
I cannot sleep or think let alone live,
waiting for The End; I went mad with the battle so determinative.

Sitting on the shower floor
with the water raining down on me more and more.
A map of water induced wrinkles trace my skin as if by disguise,
with a river I cannot stop running from my eyes;
intoxicated with madness, these voices I need to **** -
so with a bottle of ***** I wash down a pretty little pill.

Tonight I lay with just my teddy to hold dear; loneliness creeping in - no doubt,
feeling like a child who just wants to be loved and cared about,
wishing to be protected from the monsters inside my head
as I bury myself under my covers and cry myself to sleep in bed.
Shannon Callow Nov 2015
I wake in the morning and dread the day ahead,
it would be much easier if I could go back to sleep instead.
It is better than the torture of my disorder;
the voices in my head don't ask me things nicely - they're always an order.

My fear of vomiting is detrimental,
so the acts that I carry out are fundamental.
I do not leave the house; germs could get on my hands,
I always find an excuse for not participating in my friend's plans.
My hands are red raw and sore
from the excessive scrubbing; it's become a chore.
I have to put sanitiser around my mouth too,
otherwise my mind goes crazy - unfortunately that's true.

When exposed to a vomiting bug,
I completely stop eating and take an anti-bacterial drug.
I count down forty eight hours
before I can eat again; this is the extent of the phobia's powers.

When somebody mentions they feel unwell,
I avoid them like the plague and it feels like I'm in hell.

I think of the future and of the children I desire,
but the idea of germs and sickness around them is a taunt so dire.

I worry about vomiting every single day;
causing panic attacks and mental breakdowns - I want to run away.

People laugh at such a "silly" terror,
but for me it's a life-changing and deleterious horror.
Mokomboso Oct 2015
I wasn't late
But I may as well be
All the seats are taken
I've been dragging my wheels
Over strangers' feet
I'm too exausted to apologise
Too stressed to take notice
I am close to tears
Hot and discombobulated
I'd hoped for tables
But I'm jammed against the door
By football fans
And teens on daytrips
Pressing against my back, my thighs
Hot breath and perfume wafting
Hands accidentally stroking
A lady's hand
And a sudden jolt within
Tips my stomach
It feels acidic
I've dreamt about this, before
Always afraid that nausea
Will arise during the worst times
So of course it tends to
And this trip is no different
Heat prickles my chest and my hands
No room to reach for the phone
To ring mum
To escape for time alone
But instead my throat constricts
I know I'm not sick
With a virus or bad food
But regardless something stirs
A grimace forms
A familiar thought
Of terror
A fear of what?
But my own body failing
Tumbling over an unsuspecting crowd
The journey is short enough
But couldn't be any longer
About anxiety causing nausea which causes yet more anxiety. I have a phobia of *****.
Grey Mar 2015
This was a bad idea
I tell myself as your words bite into my skin
poison deadlier than that of a thousand vipers
And yet I brought this upon myself
At least that's what you tell me
I sit, staring
The words will only constrict me if I try to fight
Some of these I deserve
Some I do not
Some I do not receive
I am grateful for those fleeting moments,
the times where you tell me you're proud of me
Those seconds when the pain eases,
when the voice in my head is quiet
It's funny, it sounds like you
You tell me I don't listen, that you bear no weight in my life
yet you weigh my life down, drowning it until ink runs off paper
and into my mouth
as I ***** up lessons and salty sea water
But you are deaf to my words
While your voice booms in my ears like the voice of God
I mean nothing to you
These words mean nothing
This was a bad idea
I tell myself
bucky Jan 2015
there's a gun in your hand that doesn't belong there, a windmill where your heart should be
painting on the inside of someone else's skull screaming "i don't give a ****"
did your voice break? OH MY GOD YOU DISEASE
scooping out seeds for your masters degree
"new advances in science every day" can you smell the ink drying on the back of your wrist
ghost stories arent the same thing as ghosts
"why do hospitals think white is calming" and other laments
sorry, i mean bulletholes
sorry, i mean manmade caverns, tunnels built for metal to crawl its way out of membrane
question: what kind of science experiment requires a human corpse
you will never understand the answer to this will never understand why someone stands up in their seat, screaming "i don't give a ****"
its raining outside.its raining of your family members are lying in trash heaps,limbs discarded
and you don't know this yet
but it wasn't my wasn't me this time (stop looking at me like that
tail clenched tight between your teeth
you smell like a swamp,oh god)
choking to death on someone else's blood:'re a cliche
this has happened before, hasn't it?we were murdered before,
but you don't remember that, or you do but youre pretending not to.tend to
your wounds, lick the blood.
papercuts are a gateway drug
you used to be something pretty.shiny and unkempt,
pretty and a ***** kinda clean:i wanna rip my own throat out
carve triangles in the pit of my stomach so
at least part of me will know how to smile.
clawing at yr eyes like itll make the flies go away
its in their nature
god,what kind of monster are you
what kind of beast.
everything you know up in flames:wither
do you know how fast human bodies decay?welcome to wormfood.welcome to paradise
coughing up tar and feathers "you came prepared"
for what?for an execution?happy doomsday
punch the wall.rub your knuckles.try again
make it bruise
****** and mangled, paint chips cutting off your circulation
youre so kind.thanks for everything,thanks for
the hollow chest,thanks for
****** fists
(you knew this would happen eventually
can you even take a punch?can you even take a punch?)
severed conscience, or whatever it was.
"No One Will Miss You Anyway"
is that what theyre saying?
your nailbeds are sticky
soda and something sweeter and dirt
you had so much to live for,until you didn't
(isnt that what they all say?god,youre such a cliche.)
found dead or dying,isnt that how it goes
no one just drowns
"we have reason to believe--"
you can hear every star dying,all at once
kneeling in front of a toilet that starting to look a lot like you
theres a gun in your lap and a bullet in your head and you dont know which one to trust
this isnt your fault.this isnt your fault.
clean yourself up,god youre disgusting.
how to say your name without choking on it
holding hands with a girl you never met
isnt this what its supposed to feel like?arent you supposed to feel full?
emptiness is your native language.the hollow space in your body echoes back at you
chimneysweep swallowing dust clouds,brushing their teeth with acid and magellanic galaxies
paranoia is smooth, blurry around the edges:
its not your fault you couldn't meet a deadline.

war in your sheets and the soft folds of your belly
(and in the soles of your feet
i feel rough ground, rocks pricking into your skin
do you smell blood?)
not quite human, but vampires havent scared you for years
"**** me dry" can you taste it yet, can you feel the fear crawling up out of your stomach
your throat is so empty, a cavern without bats
stalactite secrecy pooling at your feet: this is what it feels like to be alone
sorry about the mess we made
sorry about the paint on the walls
scrubbing glitter into your arms,rubbing skin raw and red
arent you pretty? arent you pretty?
tombs cracking, mausoleums wishing for more graves to dig
havent you robbed enough for one lifetime
write eulogies for people who havent died yet,this is your calling
arent you pretty?
boxed wine stinking up the trunk of your car
(well,that and something else)
dont feel sorry for me darling
you say my name like it’s killing you,and maybe it is
thanks for the flowers and the card,what kind of greek tragedy is this
are you tired? are you tired?
what a spectacle
you,lying on a bed that doesnt belong to you,dying without permission(How Rude!)
dionysian struggle,and look,now the wine’s spilt over everything
i told you this would happen
what a pretty train wreck you are!2:30 am,still alive,
god youre bleeding on everything,how rude.
heart cut out and beating three thousand miles away under your mothers bed
YOU KNEW IT WOULD END LIKE THIS,dissociating,can you feel the earth bend away from you?
what a demon
crust,mantle,core,screaming at the sight of you
when was the last time you believed in magic,hands on thighs
walls of the abandoned building screaming back in your face
(“i don’t give a ****” like someone can hear you
like someone cares enough to listen)
a broken Bic lighter/someone else’s EpiPen/a ****** handkerchief, shoved in the pocket of a jacket you dont remember buying.
wrapped up like holy things and you think maybe they were one time
“******* with no end” god youre so cool arent you?how edgy,how grotesque, the mess on your hands.
shouting your **** streak in the dead of night
is that supposed to impress us?are you putting on a show?Holy Prophet
here to forgive your sins
a woman sitting across from you is bleeding and you imagine swallowing her hands whole
“just let them win this time” how sweet of you,how kind!
this isnt my fault.this isnt my fault.
im just a corpse,remember?i hope you regret every part of this
i hope you choke on her fingers and i hope you die
painted in the image of god:how sweet.what a nice thought
you called me a weapon like it was supposed to mean something
like it ever did

mistaken king centuries old stepping on Holy feet
(can you see him?pressed up against the grass trying to disappear
god, what a ******* poseur)
frostbite kissing you,what a nice sentiment
crying with joy as it curls around you
“you just gotta be numb to it, you know?”
please marry me, oh god, i’m in love with you
my heart beats thirty feet out of my chest when im around you (that’s what love means, right)
you feel it ripping you apart,glory
smell stardust in the air and then stomp it out
it never mattered that much anyway,or at least that’s what
you tell yourself
you move like it’s your death wish, like “better here than somewhere else”, like
they taught you how to bleed in all
the right ways.on cue. on cue.
broken telephone wires/that Bic lighter, again/a pile of pumpkin seeds digging
into the palm of your hand
How To Cauterize An Open Wound
torn skin, and blood, and maybe some of your intestines, too
stick knives in your stomach(look, we match!)
there’s still a gun in your hand and it’s smoking and you don’t remember firing it (but that’s
okay, isn’t it? this has to be okay)
you built a shipyard in your ribcage,sent sailors off
to die in your throat
choking on a swarm of ******* bees
youre so cool arent you?youre so cool arent you?
you feel the ***** coming up ten years before it actually does, feel your stomach
bloating,the stench of it all
terrariums bleeding onto the streets, how ugly.what a putrid sight.
youre missing teeth,mouth gaping open
stubbed and ****** where nothing new ever grew in,
don’t know know that hate breeds hate
precious metals ooze off your tongue, join the parade! fall into
a stupor,
collect your wits and die,just die.
“i’m sorry for your loss” written on twenty different greeting cards, did you
think i wouldnt know it was you?
i bruise so easily and you know this, even with a gun breathing heavy against your ribcage.lace spiderwebs
around your neck and pull them tight this time
lighting fires with one hand,putting them out
with the other

your shoes are too tight, your toes are turning blue,
and i’m still in love with you even though
i don’t even know who you are anymore
god, im a cliche
does that make you happy?
god, i hope it does
you tell me, “poems are supposed to have a rhythm”
smiling like i just said something funny
i’m sorry about the dead sorry about that night in the living room.
sorry for the things i said.
the feeling of being in motion/radiation vibrating across your tongue/a handful of snow
listen to the church choir singing--
in. out. dead. it wasnt your-slash-my fault
you say it outloud:
“your-slash-my”, the only way you can tether yourself
to something else.
someone is digging into the small of your back (ill
give you a hint:its me)
can you feel the talons? you take off your clothes, press
your body to the concrete
let the frost build on your spine,your fingers,your
kiss the spool of ants where your ear used to be
swallow hard.
o, songbird! o, thrush!
the mellow winter calling (your mouth
curves around the word vociferous like you cant breathe without it--
this was always my favorite part)
“who told you the ending” and you say
god,  i just knew.
holy, holy, holy, swept off the palm of your hand like dust
rusty spoons and nails And Other Artifacts pooling at your feet
***** with revenge, or desire, or both.
dont bury this too.not the bibelots, not the science experiments, not the smoking gun
carving itself into your palm
you will forget the ships on the horizon, the feel of someone else’s stomach beneath your hands, your tongue, your skin.
all these things, too: she said.
this took three days and is 1836 words

— The End —