That Sludge We Walk Around

Art by Charissa Leung.

Sometimes,

I am positive

my heart will explode.


there are days

(I am sure)

each breath

must be measured.

Rationed.


one more

cigarette

will be too much,

and some random Tuesday evening

my lungs

will collapse.

The scaffolding will give way

(as we have been warned)

and I will breathe

uneasy

in a completely different way.


I am scared of demons,

and darkness,

and my reflection

in the semi-dark.


And the dull thuds of an empty house

“stretching”

or the cracks in a sidewalk

that could swallow me whole.


I fear dogs

and cats,

spiders larger than my thumb.


Professors with piercing eyes,

and gentle hands.


Assignments

that last longer

than an hour.


Movies where the people speak

too fast.


but mostly


mostly

I am afraid

of the next day


the alarm wakes me

and

I cannot

get

up.