The Canyon

I can describe my anxiety in simple actions, such as

The constant pushing back of my cuticles

The picking of long-gone hangnails

The cracking of each joint in my hands

The rubbing of the back of my hand across my lips

The restless bouncing of my knee

The cycling of a single thought through my head

The intense focus on a single part of my body

What is harder to describe is

The carving of dark canyons through my brain that, if I wait too long to fill in myself, become rivers of rushing water that take away my breath

The fear as I am pulled from the warm bank into the angry and uncontrollable white foam

The feeling of my body tingling as less and less oxygen reaches my abdomen

The thrashing as I try to pull myself up through the water crushing my skull

The faint relief as I feel the first of my fingers break the surface and touch the air

The gasping breath I take as my head breaks through the choppy surface and I catch a glimpse of the steep canyon walls

The wonder as I notice the dusty orange color of the stone, the patterns of red and brown birthmarks horizontally layered in the sides of the ravine

The light as I once again glimpse the stars flecked across the blue-black sky

The strength returning to my arms to pull my shaking body from the underswells

The warm breeze like two arms around me as I set my palms firmly upon the earth

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