panic showed up
again today

it’s been a while
since panic dared
show his picasso face
around here

with eyes
and a gaze
that slide
down and away
to the left
each time
I try and talk to him
his face contorting

is that
I see in his eyes?

I thought
he had given up
on me completely
had moved on
to virgin ground

to torture
some initiate
some child
now in the deep end of the pool
with suddenly
no toe touches below

but here he
is again
slinking around
my chest
frantic eyes staring out
through my heart chakra
curled around rib bones
feet pushing down
iliac crests
sliding off to
hit greater trochanters
with a jolt
and then quickly scrambling
back up
again to renew his panicked grip

tighter each time

I try talking him down
try reasoning with him
try to make eye contact
calm him

think I’ll be
this time
to convince
him to leave me alone
and never return

convince him of greener
panic possible pastures elsewhere
a new bride, perhaps?

but his fingers only
curl tighter around ribs
my chest constricts with the pain
and I end up forcibly
attempting to unfurl each
finger individually
only to have them pop back
to their grip each time
even tighter

I fall back on my butt
and sit and look
at him
clinging there like a scared

I’ve only served
to make him
wild-eyed and determined now

I much prefer
him sad and pathetic
to this
wild-eyed animal

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