A Villanelle on Anxiety (Otherwise Untitled)

by Izaak

Inward, twisting up and crying,
I breathe, close eyes, listen, and pray.
Fear of things far worse than dying.

Focus on the life I’m lying,
And smile, laugh, and go to play.
Inward: twisting up and crying.

Single words, my mind then writhing,
The mask I wear does not decay—
Fear of things far worse than dying.

Broken? Fine. Alone? More trying.
But those who’d know don’t tell the day,
Inward, twisting up, and crying.

Hours pass, each demon vying
For seconds in my mind to flay.
Fear of things far worse than dying.

Seconds: hours; hours: days;
I burn my mind. Yes, here I’ll stay.
Inward, twisting up, and crying:
Fear of things far worse than dying.

Author’s Note: My anxiety isn’t actually as bad as this poem might make it seem, and I’m dealing with it quite well. (And one of the ways I deal with it is by writing exaggerated poetry about it.) I’m also aware that this is not a very good poem by professional standards, but it’s a pretty damn good poem by my standards, which is why I’m posting it here. Hopefully my poetry will improve as I write more of it.

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