Panic Attack

Gravity assaults me, grips my arms and holds me down,
insists I won’t ever stand again.
I surrender my body to the dirt,
my face down in the grass,
each blade tall as a building.
I feel the tickle of an ant on my cheek
and cannot lift a finger to swipe it away.
It stays.
It is a part of me now.

Looking down at myself
I can’t tell where skin ends and earth begins,
it is like trying to tell sand from water
when the surf is in tumult.
Every inch of me tingles,
hazy as bad reception,
I am a mess of nerve and fiber.
Breathing steady is like remaining calm
on a crashing plane when the pilots are dead and
no one else on board knows how to steer –
better in theory.

I have to tell my family I love them
before this thing goes down, but
my voice has abandoned ship,
my words scattered like startled fish.
I mouth them at the sky
in case anyone’s listening.

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