There are icicles inside my chest cavity
that freeze a little harder whenever I step into a packed room.
The only way to thaw them
is by leaving.
And no one will ever know how many times I go over
and over an event after it’s happened
like Orion crosses the sky repeatedly every night,
always moving from one patch of stars to another.
There are certain avalanches that could never compare
to the shaking of my hands when I meet someone new,
or the cross-country race of my heart
whenever I’m simply invited to a party.
Inside my bones, I swear there are instruction manuals
inscribed on my marrow for how to avoid social disasters.
It’s written in my DNA.
I wish my voice knew how to sing
instead of whisper or mumble.
I wish all this anxiety were a darkness
I could actually learn to see through,
instead of some never-ending night with no electricity..
My biggest issue is that I don’t know when to quit, I will love people until I have twisted myself into a new shape. I will love them brutal and careful and gentle and when it’s time to let them go I can’t remember how to unclench my fists from the back of their shirt so they have to break my fingers to get it to happen
become exclamation points
where i mean to pause and take a breath