After the Chocolate Bunny’s Gone, Even the Ears

Late afternoon on Easter Sunday: Downtown’s

as lonely as my living room now that

the celebrations have all ended–the processions

long over, the dishes washed from brunch,

the lilies already beginning their wilt–and I

am cycling around deserted streets under

granite-coloured skies threatening the storms

that come up suddenly in unstable spring;

I’m delaying the necessary return to the old

routine of Sunday-evening fears, drifting

through restless dreams into Monday’s panic.

 

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper

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The Guilt That Follows the Craziness That the Anxiety Provokes

 

Mostly, he was even-keeled, stoic,

the anchor in the storm; a lover

told him once he showed a range

of emotion narrower than that

of a rock.

 

Mostly, he lived a quiet life, alone,

reading his murder mysteries,

playing a bit of piano, tending

to animals, taking long walks

in the park.

 

But a few times a year, usually

during seasonal changes,

the lonely nights unnerved him,

and he drank too much and binged

on online porn.

 

Mostly, it helped a bit, getting

“it” out of his system, as they say;

it was crazy times, but after a week

or so, it wound down to exhaustion,

followed by guilt.

 

Mostly, it’s a way, the counselor

tells him, of shutting down the brain

when the wild thoughts drag him

under in a fierce riptide

of meta-analysis.

 

And thus, it seems, he can’t be blamed

and yet the guilt—so much of it—remains.

 

Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panic Attack

Panic swoops down and preys on him:

a fearsome, famished raptor

ripping apart his flesh

with razor-claws,

digging in through muscle

to devour the organ meats,

savoring his heart and brain.

This is the point at which

the nightmare is supposed to end,

but he’s been wide awake

from the beginning,

and the scenario’s stuck

in a replaying loop.

When he tries to tell others

how it works,

they always advise,

“It’s OK, calm down, it’s

only in your head.”

But that is where he lives.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper