When People Tell You GAD Can’t Be That Bad

imagine sweet alyssum

blanketing the ground[1]

the heaven-scented blooms like

clouds to the cicadas[2]

you move from forest’s edge to

cross the meadow, creep[3]

with footsteps slight & nearly

still while wind glides through[4]

the field to make these petals


[1] where you grip gravel / drip out rubies / face crammed in the shattered earth / face crammed in a pillow / here where everything will spark / you drip with turpentine / heat-veined autonomic being / here a mouth singed / opened wide / still cannot gasp /

[2] crawling over skin with twiggy legs / each stamping down a diagram of shame / its scrawled dimensions / feeling like dried aster down a shirt / an empty bottle / man’s breath in an ear / you think of how small you could shrink / how little stays yours through this swarm /

[3] & slink & call this your escaping episode / a space between missed calls & texts / not opening the blinds / one image of fatigue’s your finger clawing / double bass strings / here see the bone worn with abrasion / here see a body filed down /

[4] the quarries mined for sertraline / fluoxetine / citalopram / the quarries mined to pave a synapse / pair the thirsted nerves uprooted / twisted into knotted braids / your knotted hands when trying a half dosage / how each rock drops / lands back at the start /

[5] against your skin & offer palimpsest / which tears itself again / anointed in this frenzy / here with no bridge left to cross / here where everything repeats /

CD Eskilson is a trans poet and editor from Los Angeles. Their work
appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Pleiades, Cosmonauts Avenue, minnesota
, and they are a 2021 Best of the Net nominee. CD is poetry editor
for Exposition Review. They are an MFA candidate at the University of

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