the ocean is kind of like the moon. There’s a lot of empty rocks out there, and / you can’t breathe at all.  / [It’s also one of the places that I feel most at home.] & This makes sense / because I seem to love the suffocation–like the slow choke of my social, political, everything-is-always-falling anxiety. /  I think I called it the rigging of a stretched sail, once / pulling tight about my chest / cavity, anxiety bred / from the heart I’ve called “empty flask in my chest where I stored the souls of friends,” / it drags in all / over-analysis and a penchant for self criticism / manifested as self-hatred– / I called it sword of Damocles above my neck / housed by my own hands–generated poems about hate that are really about me / hating myself / amplified / when I lose anyone, amplified / when I feel like I am screaming but always unheard, amplified agian–is it just / the curse of a spoiled older child too-often ignored for the baby? / I curl, seek out the source of this resentment of myself as / something never quite good, / never quite needed, obsessed with perfection, / mad at the mirrors about being ugly at age 11, involved in a slight existential crisis at age 8, asking my mother about death every night / while dying from fear of the of the fear of death / it is being in a paralysis, / it is monitoring your heart beat until the nerves, nerves, nerves / match it / and spiral into you sitting shirtless in the middle / of a dried-out reservoir in southwest california, on 3 times the LSD intended for you / and barely / clinging to / your sanity. / [isn’t this brain of yours a gift?] clinging on to the feeling of life–/ in the faces of deepest fears crawling out of your ribs and / can’t decide if this is a curse, / if man or  if animal, / & if it all ended / now would you still care about anything but being remembered or proving you mattered? poor poor poor creature, little boy creature, human creature, / man creature walking out of trees and through the grasses.

they say

you just

need to learn to breathe

without oxygen


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