THIS IS NOT A PANIC ATTACK, Wil Gibson

THIS IS NOT A PANIC ATTACK
by Wil Gibson

February is cold 
no matter where you are. 
March is an open wound. 
Say that your blood’s path is set like veins, 
pretend it is not free form. 
By April, the wind pushes back all your happiness, 
leaves it months ahead, waiting for you. 
May is all band-aids and broken teeth, 
just like last year. 

There are no new thoughts. 
Every writer writes this poem, 
the poem you are writing has been written. 
Someone else wrote this. 
Your throat bleeds a cliche 
that tells you to walk away from all of it again. 

This happens every few years. 
No sleep, no rest, 
no change to the pattern. 
Close your eyes. 
See the colors in the darkness. 

Think about:
the rushes
the shakes
the failure
the smoke
the phone bill
the anger
the warrants
the fines
the job
the no job
the aches
the free will
the boils
the gray hair
the old
the older
the questions
the seizures
the “why am I having seizures?”
the waking up piss covered in the warm of the 
sun shining thru an open window
the afraid to take a shower
the afraid to drown in the bath
the shame
all of the shame
the guilt
the guilt that causes the shame
the embarrassment
the lonely
the shame, 
and then sleep for ten minutes. 

Wake up and do as the locals do.
Walk.
See them scatter themselves across the park
like ignored dogshit baking in the sun.
Bake in the sun, it is shining today. 
Yesterday was rainy. 
Yesterday is always rainy. 

Wish you could play an instrument, 
and wish you weren't allergic to bees. 

You see a friend who asks why you look so sad, 
ask them why they look so happy. 
Realize it is the same question. 
Know you always look sad and angry. 
You are not always sad or angry. 

Notice that the locals stare at you 
even tho you look just like them. 
The breeze snaps your line of thought, 
it was about mandolins. 
Mandolins are what happy sounds like. 
Mandolins sound like Sunday morning. 
Sunday morning sounds happy. 
Happy sounds like Sunday morning. 
Be happy. 
Be Sunday morning. 
Be happy. 
Wil Gibson was born from a good idea and a bottle of bourbon and raised in some of the poorest communities northern Illinois and eastern Arkansas have to offer. He has had work appear with Midwestern Gothic, Radius, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Electric Cereal, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 2015. He would like to talk to you for hours on end about lighthouses and random other things. He may have already started smoking again, but he certainly hopes not. Right now he lives in California…kinda.
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