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Anxiety: A Ghost Love

We have got to talk about the kids

in all those Goosebumps books.
For example,
if your family vacation
is to an amusement park
and your station wagon explodes
in the parking lot upon arrival,
shrugging it off,
buying an extra large popcorn,
and heading straight for
The Deadly Doom Slide
is not your best possible
course of action.
if you steal a weird camera
from your creepy neighbors basement
and every picture you take
shows bad things happening,
like decapitation
and Tofurkey,
and then all the bad things
from the pictures
start happening,
Stop Taking Pictures.
if you move into your new house
and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom

that your parents cannot see,

dont just grab a juice box
and go play in the cemetery
when I tell you of the ghosts
that live inside my body;
When I tell you
I have a cemetery in my backyard
and in my front yard
and in my bedroom;
When I tell you
trauma is a steep slide
you cannot see the bottom of,
that my anxiety is a camera
that shows everyone I love as bones,
when I tell you
panic is a stubborn phantom,
she will grab hold of me
and not let go for months
this is the part of the story
when everyone is telling you to run.
To love me
is to love a haunted house
its fun to visit once a year,
but no one wants to live there,

and when you say,

Tell me about the bad days,
it sounds like all the neighborhood kids daring each other to ring the doorbell,
you love me
like the family walking through Horrorland holding hands
You are not stupid,
or careless,
or even brave,
youve just never seen
the close-up of a haunting.
this love will not cure me.
And this love will not scrape
the blood from the baseboards,
but it will turn all the lights on,
it will bring basil
back from the farmers market
and it will plant it in every windowsill,
it is the kind of love
that gives me goosebumps,
when you say to the ghosts,
If youre staying,
then you better make room,
and we kiss against the walls
that tonight are not shaking,
so we turn the music up
and we dance to Miles Davis,
and you say,
My god,
this house.
The way that it stands
even on the month s

that no one goes into

or comes out of it.
How reckless, the way that I love
like the first chapter of a ghost story.
Like the gentlest hand
reaching out of a grave.
When a boy tells you he loves you, itll be the first time you hear this.
It is late and he isnt even there to tell you this in person but instead from a car ride
home from a bar in Chicago, he is there on business. And of course you will smile
because he sounds like he means it, because you believed him, because a boy has
never handed those words to you like crushed blackberries in the palms of his hands,
firm, young, full, waiting to taste the sweet with you, his arms creeping vines begging to
touch the sun in your face saying, "here, take everything I have ever touched to be
closer to you".

His breath waiting to be folded into a love note passed in between the nape of your
neck and his front teeth. He will remember the time you told him you felt safe in his
mouth and he will never grow hungry, just distant.
When a boy tells you he loves you, you will hear music, the voice of your past lovers
dancing up your throat and your stomach in after-hours cab race still waiting on the last
call, that was when you learnt that when a boy says I love you, he means "I am getting
ready to be inconsistent with you now".
This boy will tell you that he loves you, not long after he had you waiting for two hours in
front of the cocktail lounge. Patience is something you were working on, but no, not for
him. When he asked you to tell him that you loved him back, you will be in a cabarets in
a parking lot of a late night diner, you will watch the words fall into your lap like a spilled
glass of white wine.
You remember the day your core, your pigeon heart got lost in the wind because that
was the message it did not know how or where to carry, and one by one, the boys have
fallen as silently as the birds do.

So eloquently they used to speak until I asked the questions that broke them into
ghosts, that bleed me into a corpse with so many questions of my own for the soul but
their tongues do not know simple, the things I should be hearing, the things make us
living men in this time of insatiable yet dying lovers.
When a boy tells you he loves you, only to become silent like a folded sheet of tissue
paper, not wanting you to decrease him into the truth.
Do not crack your face into the fullest crescent moon at the tapered bottom of the
blackened sky, he never meant a single word of any of it.
He is just a boy, remember?
He is just another silly, sad boy, remember?

Explaining my Depression to My Mother; A Conversation

05 Dec 2014


Mom, My depression is a shape shifter.

One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear
The next, its the bear.
On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone.
I call the bad days the dark days.
Mom said try lighting candles
When I see a candle, I see the flesh of a church.
The flicker of a flame
Sparks of a memory younger than noon
I am standing beside her open casket
It is the moment that I learn every person I ever come to know will
someday die.
Besides mom
Im not afraid of the dark.

Perhaps thats part of the problem.

Mom said I thought the problem was that you cant get out of bed.
I cant.
Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house.
Inside of my head.
Mom says where did anxiety come from?
Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town.
Depression felt obligated to bring to the party.
Mom, I am the party.
Only I am a party I dont want to be at.
Mom says Why dont you try going to actual parties? See your
Sure, I make plans.
I make plans but I dont wanna go.
I make plans because I know I should want to go.
I know sometimes I would have wanted to go.
Its just not that much fun having fun when you dont want to have
fun, mom.
You see mom,
Each night insomnia sweeps me up in his arms dips me in the
kitchen in the small glow of the stove light.

Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect
Mom says try counting sheep
But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake.
So I go for walks.
But my stuttering knee caps clank like silver spoons,
Held in strong arms with loose wrists.
They ring in my ears like clumsy church bells,
Reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot
baptize myself in.
Mom says Happy is a decision
But my happy is hallow as a pin pricked egg.
My happy is a high fever that will break.
My mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing,
And then flat out asks me if I am afraid of dying.
I am afraid of living.
I am lonely.
I think of how I learned when dad left how to turn the anger into
The lonely into busy

So when I tell you

Ive been super busy lately
I mean Ive been falling asleep watching sports center on the couch
to avoid confronting the empty side of my bed.
But my depression always drags me back to my bed,
Until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city.
My mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from biting down on
The hallow auditorium of my chest swoons with echoes of a
But I am a careless tourist here.
I will never truly know everywhere I have been.
Mom still doesnt understand.
Mom! Cant you see that neither can I?
By: Sabrina Benaim



Lets face it
No one ever forgets the ones they loved
And sometimes people think they can forget details like a
toothbrush abandoned in the sink
How the air felt warmer at a certain embrace at 5 pm by the
Or why the photographs from an undeveloped film come to
haunt you
Years after loves demise
I still love the blonde boy who kissed me in junior high
Because he made me understand teenage love
Does not necessarily have to be stained with
First time blood on the sheets
Or the catastrophy of being abandoned when youre younger
I still love the movie director who acted like a father

Even though I didnt want to have his children

I still love the one who held my hand in front of Church
But never took the courage to fire walk with me
Even the one
Who carelessly, unknowingly made me realize I can love
And leave again
The way women leave when they have loved too much and
men have already won the war;
And you still love her
With her imperfect cheeks and hazy eyes
They never needed contouring to look so dramatic
With her princess walk and
Uneasy bone structure
That almost made her too fragile to stand against
The tides of life
With her questionable taste in fashion
And her graceful poetry that could melt
A hundred thousand icicles

Just as she pedalled a bicycle and

Whistled at girls
With her damp, red hazel hair; and heavy smile.
You still love her
Who caressed every fleeting spread of dust in the air
With her monochrome fragrance
And her little, rosy mouth with sharp teeth that turned into
When she smiled;
You still love the girl who still sits behind the counter
At the most beloved library in town
Or the one who made you a man
A writer
And a serious respected scientist
When she left behind nothing but an empty mattress
And the walls full of her colourful sharks
You still love her, who once said for ever
And forever turned into you, her, promised lands and
marriage rituals

With completely different people

From different continents.
We might as well face it
Were all mad in here
Longing for belonging
Aching for a compassionate,
Technicolor show to host the ones we loved
In all
Because if thats the sum of our parts
I know
That the storms in your life will follow
Even when I run my fingers through your hair
And I cant make them fade away
But I will be present

Like an artist
I promise.

Ioana Cristina Casapu

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