I hate
the fragility
that causes me
to refuse my needs.

I want to wear my ring
but stress has ballooned my
stomach and swollen my fingers
and taken away pages in my wallet.

I held my breath and wore it like a charm
on a bracelet, or a necktie that tightens since I
refuse to speak it into existence. now it grows light
but something drags it behind my head. I feel its pull.

sometimes the best way to describe this sensation is as
a cloud, taken residence in my mind, obscuring my reason.
these times, the worst times, a sharp needle comes, past every
safeguard, poking and prodding further and further into my mind.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be free of this nonsense. I don’t think I will.
I’ve unlocked some hidden demon that only relents with ebbing
back away, as a wave does, pulling away from the shore at
low tide, drifting down into the recesses of the ocean,

until finally, I can breathe. the necktie lessens its
tugging. I expunge the waters from my vision.
paper guards the view. messages guard
the emotion from my lips. I breathe

as the cloud drifts away. I
spot the edge of a cliff,
the mountaintop.
I release it.

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