Hypertension and Panic (The Well of a Witch's Power) / Alex Vigue

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Before you earned your title
you were laying on the floor of
your first apartment
stomach roiling wave, distended
ripping itself as far
away from you as it can

Before you forgave yourself for
slipping, sipping neon sap salve
you pursed up to plastic
bottle edge and tongued the
carbonated nectar
until dry flowers crumbled
then lifted bloated body to the next

When you were still a student
you gulped air filled liquid
with silly names
soda-salted earth
pop-soft knee cartilage locomotion
a ritual that only ends in death

You called your best friend to bed at the solstice climax
not for warmth or pleasure
but to stop your body from fizzing, shaking itself apart
Panic attacks don’t feel like heart attacks to you
they’re a shaken 12oz can, 20oz bottle, 2 liter chasm of
mountain dew, cherry pepsi, or
some bright orange star threatening to explode.

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Alex Vigue is a queer poet and storyteller from Ridgefield, Washington. He has a degree in creative writing from Western Washington University and has been published in Drunk Monkeys, Cotton Xenomorph, and Cahoodaloodaling. His debut chapbook “The Myth of Man” was a finalist for the Floating Bridge Press chapbook competition.

See more: alexvigue.wordpress.com / @kingwithnoname

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Editor’s Note:This poem is part of a series about Alex’s Fat Witch character. You can find three other Fat Witch poems in Lockjaw Magazine.