As the semester comes to an end, I am finishing up all of my final projects. For English 213, Introduction to Poetry, my final project is to present one of the poems that I workshopped during the semester in a public space. So, for my project, I decided not only to post my poem to Odyssey and advertise the poem by posting pieces of it around different bulletin boards around campus that display the link to the website. So, without further ado, here is my final poetry project:


Anxiety.

I'm listening,
Listening to the buzz of a dial tone
With the receiver in one hand
As I'm biting the already throbbing
Skin around the nails of the other.
I'm trying,
Trying to work up the courage
To press the numbers I need.

Who is going to pick up?
Will they pick up?
Please, just don't pick up.

I'm waiting,
Waiting outside in the cold
With my balled-up hand in mid-air
As sweat lingers on my frostbitten
Forehead that is cold to the touch.
I'm looking,
Looking for the strength
To knock on the door I'm standing at.

Is anyone home?
Should I just go home?
Please, just don't be home.

I'm slouching,
Slouching in my chair
With my head tilted downward
As I'm scratching the raw wound
That never gets the chance to heal.
I'm hoping,
Hoping that no one asks
For my clumsily formed opinion.

Are they listening when I talk?
Will they laugh when I talk?
Please, just don't ask me to talk.

I can't live my life.

I'm rehearsing,
Rehearsing my order
With my menu tightly gripped
As I stutter the words in my head
That echo my past mistakes.
I'm praying,
Praying that I don't forget
Anything that I want to say.

Are they judging my order?
Is there too much to my order?
Please, just don't comment on my order.

I'm keeping,
Keeping my headphones in
With no music playing
As my trembling hand fumbles
With the frayed bottom of my shirt.
I'm wishing,
Wishing that my weird little quirks
Won't be pointed out.

Are they laughing at me?
Should they laugh at me?
Please, just don't laugh at me.

Anxiety.

It's not a way to live.

It's a way to die.