Panic Attacks


She calls them
“Blitzkrieg raids,”
when near sundown
and losing it all
in a swarmy motion,
left without verbal advice
yet stalking every faint moment,
she telephones to tell me
how time is sheeted,
riddled with flayed messages
sirens, flashbacks, stigmatas,
voices, racing tongues
and every catechized expression
tries to make this cold phantom
disappear from her damp foreign body.

Suggesting pink pills
or an herbal cupped tea
feeling for that first communion,
an old Little Lulu strip
or a comic TV cartoon
wishing for some cosmic clue
for this rational subversion,
putting on holiday candelabras
imagining a salient sea,
a beach full of hygienic kids,
waters her Brazilian rubber plants
hums that diminished Beethoven chord
stuffs a chocolate bear inside out,
tries to meditate on cherubim
seeking some stop of red light
that could calm her
from iced swollen masks
of the next begotten moment.

B.Z. Niditch