first, I was not born with
a lot of fear and it confuses
others to find I shake
constantly. not literally
shake but fidget and
have to twiddle at all times.
this is
a tic. a tic is
characterized by involuntary
movement; a repercussion of
some hidden mechanism
to cope, neurological or, sincerely,
born from nothing
but exists within a person
I once saw the death of a man
I loved, but the face was blurry.
I just had a vision,
sharp, flash,
watching him fall through
a hole in a patch of ice
and disappear forever.
this was before.
before I knew who led who
across the lake.
before I could pull apart
threads and follow
them home.
before I could name things,
or rather, before
I could commit.
I won’t name the
color of his eyes
or hair. and I won’t tell
you anymore than
years ago,
a friend dubbed me a title and
told me that I
give until I am robbed
and can give no more.

I did not know this man yet.

the year is 2016,
but the very end,
December and this is before
the dream of the cabin,
and the letters to,
let’s say “A”
and do the naming of them
alphabetically by chronological order
so as not to confuse anyone.
this was when  the unfurling began:
every device I had for protection,
dissolving like the bounds
between, I can only say,
us and them.
this is before I knew that
this period of time
would bare great significance in
my development so I took
it too lightly. oh sure i enjoyed the
laughing and pacing and watching
my face melt into the mirror,
standing under streetlights for minutes
waiting for them to burst,
the three hour marches through snow
muttering, I just wish my notes
were neater, like it would all come
back now when he pressed
“record.” funny how
blackouts work.  I began a slow
fall into what textbooks
have described as

“a sustained mild
manic psychotic episode”
or possibly,
“a sustained dissociative fugue (of sorts)”
“spontaneous psychosis nos (trigger not known)”
                  the election of Donald trump
and what others say is
“kundalini awakening,
but rushed” as in
my crown burst open and
a snake jumped out
before I could process opening
my throat.
what others say is a
“nervous breakdown
from the pressure of grad school,
a demanding low paying job, and too
much time volunteering in harsh
climate or communities” or
a “sustained fantasy life
come to life via magic”
a “witch learning her craft”
a “possession by demons”
a “possession by ghosts”
a “possession of angels”
a “woman deemed saint by past sainthood”
a “possession by various channels”
an “alien abduction come back”
an “electronics gaining sentience
and communicating via music
via Spotify”
a “active fantasy life enlivened
due to self induce isolation”
a “nightly visitation”

I say
be careful what you

“switched places”

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