Vignettes of Panic

1. The sun turned me
to rubber on a step
pushing yellowed fingernails
into my neck
insisting that everything
that makes me beautiful
was about to be peeled off
and dropped into hot oil
so that I could hear the crackling
anytime I tried to fall asleep

2. My eyes were turning
to cloudy glass
at breathless speeds
sidewalk opening its jaws
and sighing loudly
(hot air
the kind of air
that crowds the throat
with fear)

3. The email was a sticky note
that wouldn’t leave my shoe
no matter how many times
I turned it upside down
and shook so hard
the building swung to the left

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