Under the skin, that’s where I am afraid—
I found it in the mirror tonight
between my breasts and just below
where halves of the ribcage meet,
down an alley, under a lightless
window, that’s where I am afraid,
past the dumpster inside of which someone
in a sleeping bag full of holes
is not asleep, that’s near where I am
afraid—little ship under the skin
has been there all along. Fear of not
being able to breathe. Of alone.
Fear in me is round and swollen,
hurts at a finger-touch.
Hard light inside of me I can see
when I suck in a breath, above the only
curve of ribs on either side. Spiders.
Break-ins. Losing my life. Losing my job.
Little process of proceeding towards
an end. As if, whereas, what if. Walking
places there are more than
twos and threes, of trees, of faces, rooms
full of faces, more than three. What every
number was, how high the upper story
of a parking garage where it is always
night. Oh fear in my chest,
light at the tip of a word now dull
from common use, state of submitting to,
state of being submitted, you little process,
fear that is not my heart,
fear that is not my bone,
ship on its way to becoming some
fictional tumor or star, light of a little golf ball
filled with rubber bands, light of the falling
leaves, of this lapse in time.