Rachel M. Simon


I’ve turned in this niche so many times,
I’ve worn the edges smooth around me.
The curves of my shoulders and hips
fit into this space, fat pupils fill the dark.
Soon I’ll take the empty boxes down
and fill them again, trying
to discard all I have
that ties me to modest trinkets
of my past perfect lives. I’m not ready
to throw myself upward, disembark
on my ripe wings,
yank the grapnel above my head.
I’ll dress up in the costumes of a new body
learn to roll around until the bend of my neck
fits, like all those who came before and left before
and dug their nails into the floorboards.

Rachel M. Simon
Anxiety is from Theory of Orange (Pavement Saw Press, 2007).