In a city without winter
the leaves don’t change-and-fall,
they merely fall, without fanfare,
without meaning. I was afraid

to move here, where we knew
none of the 4 million, and had
no place to stay. The storm

is just off the coast
40 miles away. It is passing across the beach
and the live oak
in our yard
is trying to come undone. In school

I was afraid of school. Living downtown
I was afraid of downtown. My doctor said
anxiety is only allowable

if you’re really in danger. In a minute
the storm blows the power out
but we all live through this, everyone
who came to my house for shelter.
The walls visibly shake.
It goes right over our home,
the eye of it. In a city without winter

there is a threat
of these storms. My doctor said
anxiety is only allowable
if you’re really in danger, i.e. someone
is holding a gun to your head, then
you can worry, but driving to work
in no traffic, on a clear day—
why would that cause you fear?

She was telling me it was unreal,
to make me feel better.
What’s wrong?
It’s strange: no amount of prescriptions
and no amount of dosage
and no amount of truth
can touch me.

Craig Beaven

CRAIG BEAVEN has poems out now or forthcoming in Carolina Quarterly, Third Coast, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, and others. He was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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