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 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.