Poem 1

Annie Hamilton

I discovered tonight

Choking on air, conversation – absolutely nothing-

(But to be clear, I was choking)

That having an anxiety attack is a lot like having an orgasm

For that one tiny, perfectly deranged instant

History and present fuse together

The whole world and the cobble stone streets are connected

I’m flying over New York

My mind drifts to memories I could never uncover

Without being under the influence

Of panic.

I choked tonight and instantly arrived back at the place I had last choked:

Tokyo, with Ethan and Mom

I think it was New Years Day?

We ate, arguing

I steered the conversation

They refuse to understand me;

I struggled for air.


I remembered the times I had canceled out


And my body said “here we are again”

“We know we’re not dying;

But we also might very well be, –

Man, I wish I was with friends.”

I wish I was surrounded by drinks and cute boys in collegiate sweaters and glasses.

And boys in skinny black jeans and skinny black shirts

I wish someone was holding the small of my back.

She asks me if I’m on drugs

It’s funny–Every time they ask me if I’m on drugs-I believe that I’m not.

“How could you even ask that?”


(The Adderall spoke for me.)

To me, it seems, she says, not hesitantly at all –

That you are on speed;

You are red and speaking a mile a minute. I can’t understand you. We can’t understand you.

Leave the table, she says.

Get out of my room, she says.

You’ll listen to me and you’ll listen good, she says.

Please help me do the dishes, she says.

Bring home twizzlers while you’re out there, she says.

She dances around me

Amanda Wingfield in the flesh

I am Tom.


She huffs and she puffs and I blow the house down.

Waiting for my cigarette

So I don’t have to choke on air

Choke on my mistakes

My selfishness

On the need to get out of this house

On the sudden urge to sugardaddyforme.com

On the sex I won’t have

On the night’s sleep on the couch

Choke for my dad alone in his motel room

I choke