Helpless Feeling: A Slam Poem

My heart is beating

Far too

Quickly I

Don’t have time to

Catch my breath.

I always forget this

Helpless feeling that

Takes over my

Entire being until this

Helpless feeling comes back.

Lungs inflating like an

Air mattress through a

Soggy paper straw.

I hope beyond all hope that

I’ll finally forget what this feels like.

That this will all become a

Distant memory

Captured by photographs

Left on yellowing pages

A memory nonetheless.

But I just

Can’t escape this

Helpless feeling because this

Helpless feeling is a tragic boomerang that

Always finds its way back no matter

How far I run.

It’s a game of cat and mouse

A maze I’m running to

Free myself of, only

I created the maze and I

Am the maze and if I

Can’t even finish the

Crossword in the

Saturday-morning newspaper

Over my

Soothing bowl of cornflakes

How am I ever going to solve this?

This is a riddle I

Never asked for.

Metaphors won’t

Get the poet out of this one.

I’m told ways to

Change the puzzle or

Use the puzzle or

Write about the puzzle and


About the puzzle but it’s

Really hard to

Talk about a puzzle when you

Are the puzzle and you

Kinda think you might

Hate the puzzle and

You would give anything

To just stop being a

Puzzle and

Be figured out already.

If you give something a name

Can you take that control back?

Because naming it doesn’t help my

Legs to shop shaking or my

Heart to stop aching it

Doesn’t help my

Eyes to see clearer or my

Smile to be wider.

A name doesn’t

Loosen the muscles in my chest

Twisting as if preparing for a

Game of double-dutch.

I honestly don’t think that

Voltaren is going to be able to

Fix this one.

I write poems so that I

Might be able to

Coax the air back

Into my lungs and the


Back into my mind but my

Thoughts are the muddled warble of the

Chickadees outside your

Window and the

Voice of a large crowd.

You told me that

Healing takes time but

I don’t know where to start.

By @ally_geist

#mentalillness #mentalhealth #poem #allygeist #poerty #poetry #writer #writing #heart #anxiety #depression

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