Anxiety is Never Quiet
You are never quiet.
Sometimes dulled and dormant, but still there.
Always clawing, needing, eating,
Fueling a restless infatuation with who I would be without you,
But then the idea of your absence is also terrifying somehow.
You smother me in breathless torment, but haunt the idea of not having you around.
Personality is muddled with who you’ve transformed me into.
I am a shapeshifter, a marionette changing at your will, bending at your whim,
Skin of velvet, but broken insides,
Hollow bones fractured and bent to fit your mold;
A cookie cutter girl sculpted just for you…
When you leave for a while, I don’t know whether it’s safe to be relieved,
Whether taking a breath will alert you to my alleviated spirit
And prompt you to come flooding back,
To wrap me once more in your toxic embrace
And coat me with your relentless persistence.
You do not let me forget you,
Your legacy burns holes in my lungs.
I am a tapestry of your abuse, a picture frame slightly crooked on the wall,
But no one seems to notice.
You do not allow me to be passive.
I am either feeling everything at once or nothing at all,
And either way the sensation is strong;
It is a shock to my insides like alcohol…
You are a jealous beast.
It amuses you when I quake under your envy,
The moment I look away from you, you rush to steal me back.
Without the rush of your energy, sometimes I forget how I should feel,
A weightless exasperation that lasts a while and then comes crashing down again,
Not fading, but ending, like a door slamming shut.
You are screaming,
Louder than the world around me,
Drowning out “I love you”s and replacing them with poison,
You are never quiet.
So neither also shall I be,
My voice is not yours to manipulate and my words will remain mine.
Maybe not always louder than you. Maybe only a whisper sometimes.
But still there.
I will not be voiceless even if that makes me restless.
I will not surrender to your slavery, I will speak.
So hear me.
I will never be quiet.
Annee Clark is a seventeen-year-old aspiring writer who also enjoys acting in theater as well as singing and playing her ukulele. She began writing as a young child, starting with short stories, and is now working on a fantasy novel reimagining the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood called Red as well as a poetry book which will (likely) be called Freckles and Constellations.