The Calm that Comes vs. The Calm We Put On
Hand me that tranq dart, would you,
actually, throw it at me
and I will catch it with my arm.
The mascot of anxiety is the house
centipede, feathery, fast,
fluttery legs above you on the wall.
The cat found one yesterday in the
corner, I try to prioritize
its life and family above my fear,
but it’s hard. On America’s Next
Top Model there is a
whole sequence of the girls screaming
at the spiders they discovered living
in their house, and footage
of the girls talking to the camera about
the spiders, saying infestation of spiders,
shuddering at what the words
do to the mind, in the air. You can only pause
fear by squishing what you think you see,
this is a terrible lesson.
Every smudge and spot leaps to life,
trembling for you, see what worry stirs
up. House centipede, it’s not
that I want you dead, I just don’t want
to see you. For every bug you see there
are millions unseen, poor bug,
symbol of all we don’t want to know.