By: Elizabeth Joseph

I break down in the supermarket grocery aisles
because I only have five minutes to make the choice
between a variety of granola bars.

I count the moments until everything stops
because someday I will be forced to catch my own breath
and pace it against the metronome’s slow count
a pendulum swing between empty space
and the pulse of thoughts in beats per second

I share the accrued space in my thoughts
you all amass because I know
each day is a slow crawl
an unwinding, where I can’t come back for seconds,
I can hear repetition at the base of my skull
echoing tick-tick-tick –

another flutter of anxiety in my chest
retread the same thoughts over and over
grasping the present like water in my fist
immortalize everything before it fades
       registering the clock as my time runs out.

here I am:
in the aisle
when I start
(and where I end.)