I won’t end with Rage.
I love a man I know could go blind--
And not in twenty-five years,
And not in a slow fade,
But quickly the color of the world gone dark
In his jade eyes. One joy in it is
He can always remember my outline
by tracing it. I know I’ll be resentful one day
Leading him through the apartment,
“Here is that chair again. On your left,”
I’ll snap. I’m left with my rage at nothing.
But I won’t end there. I can see enough for us both.
(Mike Zimmerman is a writer of short stories and poetry, as well as a middle school Writing teacher in East Brooklyn. His previous work has been published in Cutbank, A & U Magazine, The Painted Bride, Wilde Magazine, Caravel, Aji, Arkana, 8 West Press, Steam Ticket, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and Zingara Poetry Review, and various anthologies. He is the 2015 recipient of the Oscar Wilde Award from Gival Press and a finalist for the Hewitt Award in 2016. In 2018, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his story “Doppelganger” in Two Cities Review. Mike lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their cat. Learn more @mazaffect.)
I See You
There's this thing I do, I bite my lips and pick the skin off my feet and one day a friend told me those were symptoms of anxiety.
I had tightness in my chest and felt like I couldn't breathe so I went to the doctor and they didn't help me but they told me it could be anxiety.
I backed out of three job interviews and told myself that the inner voice I was listening to was God. But. Maybe. It was actually anxiety.
I felt sick to my stomach and threw up the whole time I was pregnant and I'm pretty sure it wasn’t all in my head, but do you think it had anything to do with anxiety?
I screamed at my two year old for acting like a two year old and yelled at my husband for listening to me when I asked him to buy me fudge brownies and flew into full body-shaking rage episodes when my baby woke up early from his nap and then I finally thought maybe,
It was time to take a look at this thing called anxiety.
I hyperventilated over taking a pill and asked “how will I know if it's helping” and “what is it supposed to be like” and “what if it's wrong” and “how long before I know” and “is this normal or is this the medication or is it...you know... the anxiety?”
I drove all across the freeways of Las Vegas and remembered panicking on small town Idaho roads and realized how much of my life had been affected by this thing I hadn't even known how to name
we drive together or take walks and have talks or listen to Taylor Swift or play solitaire at 2AM or meditate or stretch or try to just breathe together or ruminate over a thousand questions or watch a comfort show and eat fudge brownies or even sometimes bite my lips and pick the skin on my feet, saying
"Oh, hey anxiety,
I see you".
(Tia Wray has a BA in English and a MA in health psychology. She turned to poetry as a way to process trauma therapy, and her themes have expanded into topics related to healing, grief, connection, and nature. In addition to being a writer, she is a mother and a meditator. She currently lives in Västerås, Sweden.)
I'm Mars and You Are Venus
Abandoned and barren,
I hide myself under miles of blood red sands,
I'm a cold, ancient, and mysterious existence,
I zoom thorough the void of blackness,
All alone, all unlovable, and presumably dead,
My only company,
Are two shards of my broken heart,
Orbiting me silently.
You are Venus,
You are a world of rage and fire,
you have scorching oceans of lava,
I hear volcanoes rip and tear your world,
You hide below your impenetrable miles of toxic clouds,
Powerful gusts of winds envelop your surface,
Your protection against this brutal existence,
Nothing will ever get in or out,
I get it, I see it crystal clear, and I hear you,
You don't trust anyone or anything.
I'm Mars and you are Venus,
You are too hot to touch,
I'm too frigid and rigid for love,
But I do know,
We have been both brutally betrayed,
You and I shed tears and screeched in agony.
For millions and millions of years,
It is no wonder,
You are a world of fire and ire,
And I'm a realm of emptiness and coldness.
I'm Mars and you are Venus,
But do know that I'm soothed,
When once in a couple of years our orbits meet,
I know I can never touch you,
And you will never love me,
But I will always adore you from the distance,
I'm terrified of the thought of not getting a glimpse of you,
I'm always tortured to watch you fly away from me,
I'm Mars, a world of scars and tears.
(David Grigorian was born deaf in Armenia and got his first hearing aids at the age of eleven. David has been to a lot of places such as Ukraine, Black sea, Japan, and settled in USA, Colorado. He began to experiment with poetry in his teenage years as he experienced first love, first best friend, and first heart break. With poetry David explored and tried to understand life. He had attended and graduated Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. His writings have been published in local newsletters and a magazine. David's life dream was to be a published author and a poet.)
The Beautiful Space-