Late Summer After a Panic Attack

Ada Limón

I can’t undress from the pressure of leaves,

the lobed edges leaning toward the window

like an unwanted male gaze on the backside,

(they wish to bless and bless and hush).

What if I want to be deviled instead? Bow

down to the madness that makes me. Drone

of the neighbor’s mowing, a red mailbox flag

erected, a dog bark from three houses over,

and this is what a day is. Beetle on the wainscoting,

dead branch breaking, but not breaking, stones

from the sea next to stones from the river,

unanswered messages like ghosts in the throat,

a siren whining high toward town repeating

that the emergency is not here, repeating

that this loud silence is only where you live.

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