This Anxiety

It wells up in me like a balloon
that never pops – just expands and shrinks down again

            but always so serious – it’s really gonna blow this time.

I’m an earthquake drill and the siren blowing like Blakey’s sax,
that single note careening upward, outward,

and the hiding under the desk.

Maybe just a breeze is needed, your cooling voice to say stop

and all my neurons jumping jacks pause,
put their arms down, and look up.

Now, I’m thinking about what it would feel like to not be
in my body anymore, like it’s a building I can walk out of
                                             or a dark room and I’m groping for the switch.

The dark inside me
is churning like a washing machine. I want to open

the door and pull the wet clothes onto the floor.

I always thought existential terror was private like a coat-tucked flask,
but I’m pleased to find we can share it, pass it back and forth between us.

Two heads could be better than one; or far worse? The ennui spinning
out of control, motorcycle & sidecar hitting dirt on the highway.

Maybe the knowing is enough to pull our heads
above the surface. Something might be made from our unease,
something we can hold
                                                                            like thimble or thread.

We weave it into a dream-catcher and nail it to the wall between our heads,
a hands-width over the headboard

so our nightmares can be together,
                           writhing silently in the dark.