anxiety attack implementing grounding strategy

for and after Daniella Toosie-Watson


the curtain is off-white

the faucets silvery metallic made to twist

adjust pressure the tiles segmented

borders like the body’s edges   we are always

in contact with something even if

it’s only the floor and air the green

bath-rug’s damp fluff   my skin

is brown is brown is brown

is down on its weak knees   the sink

is white the tub is white the walls

white the window frosted and on top

of that a layer of condensation

outside it there is a whole world

i know it even when it is not visible

that it is true and open and full of contradiction

under my nails the grime houses

a whole ecosystem millions of active

cells molecules mitochondria dried skin flakes

waiting to dislodge to fall   the towel is tan

i am a tangled knot a pretend pretzel person

trying to regulate my breathing and inside

the chemicals sending me information

the ceiling is cracked the ceiling is cracked

i cannot reach it i stop trying

i breathe the breath has no color I breathe again

the breath of dinosaurs and stars the breath

mixed with the breaths of billions of people

the breath encapsulating my skin

the particles of air real even in the unseen gas

i open the window i do not consider leaving

the wind is moody and frantic even more

than i am   it is a violent shimmy of invisible shoulders

it blows the shower curtain right off the rod

i pick it up   put it back on slowly

segment by segment   dull rusty hook by dull rusty hook