If I Drop Dead Today

Today was a painful day.

Tuesday is therapy day and therapy provokes anxiety.

I walk to all of my appointments and I don’t let anything
get in the way.

The panic attacks began as soon as I hit the morning
light and they didn’t stop.

At one point I could only take five or six slow steps at
a time.

I tried to stay in the shade.

I was in so much pain that I considered tossing myself
into traffic.

I avoided the underground because I was afraid
I’d switch and throw myself onto the tracks.

The thing is the panic attacks haven’t stopped.

I’m home and as soon as I move they start.

It’s horrible.

But there is the question: what if this isn’t panic.

Yes I’ve had my heart checked and yes my blood tests were
negative for heart disease but I wouldn’t be the first person
to drop dead for no clear reason.

So what if I die tonight? Do I have any last words?

Yes, I do.

I want to thank everyone who loved me; who saw talents
in me that my abuser taught me to ignore and hide.

I want to especially thank the poet, Harold Norse, who took
me on as a student and with whom I lived for five years.

He believed that I could discipline my mind and become a writer.

I want to thank my friend, Maria, who brought me out of Charleston
to Connecticut where I found my first taste of freedom in the small
town of New London.

I’m pleased that Maria remains on this planet and still calls me friend.

I want to thank my friend, Don, who was my first partner and whom
I now call Brother; I have always loved you.

Nothing will change that.

I want to thank my current Partner, James.

Whatever you do and wherever you go; know that our souls are one
and I am a prayer away.

My regret is that I did not live long enough to fully understand and edit
the writing I produced when I lived with Harold.

I am not the writer Harold thought I’d become.

I am the writer that I am.

That’s good enough for me.

Rob Goldstein (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved

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Beneath the Fiery Pacific

Beneath the Fiery Pacific

Here is

the

bric-à-brac

of sanity:

Hippocrates

and

Phenothiazines.

Fear is the

cement.

My scalp

itches;

I scratch

out

my arms.

Thought

tumbles

into

sleepless

dreams.

It snows

in Hell

and

I am In

the poem,

watching.

My scalp

itches;

I scratch

out

my thighs.

Awake

beneath

the waters

of the

fiery

Pacific,

God

whispers:

I am the

source

of all

suffering.

My scalp

itches;

I scratch

out

my eyes.

Rob Goldstein (c) 2016