Panic Colors

Panic Colors

My heart knifes itself out my chest
Thuddering and fluttering through the air
I feel my brain burst
A brief explosion fast-filmed backwards

The house is burning down
By any account I should be dead
Yet I’m not
I’m having a panic attack

I sense the end won’t be long
Not while my heart flaps in a breeze
I try a breath; only manage to wheeze

The ER docs hate seeing me
Say the whole game’s in my head
I shake it, hard
No change

One doctor told me breathe slow
Difficult when you can’t breathe
Fine she said, name all the colors
Read off all that’s in your sight

I hear the whip of the black flag of death
Glance up at a white coat of cloud
Below me lies a sea of green

The lemony green of tall dry grass
That spinachy green of young pine shoots
The bureaucrat’s green of traffic signs
I’m a stuck scared duck
In a thick green screen

On the right a giant orange primps a glass gym
People writhing and lurching and grabbing the floor
Just what my heart’s doing to me

Above the tall Golden Arches
Make absolutely certain this isn’t heaven
I stare at the mirror and light frowns back
I’m a deer in the headlights, why don’t I grow antlers?

Getting to work only ten minutes drive
Ten minutes to name every color
Every stinking slice of the rainbow
Plus the blue malice that stalks my mind

Sunlight tracks, shoots, strikes my eye
Old Sol starts dragging my heart back in place
My body jerks, the ghosts are leaving
The world starts losing its panic colors