Tabatha Wharton


{musings of an aging millennial trope}

small spaces {video}

There is a corner of my kitchen where I perch when the lingering grip of you plays boa constrictor with my heart. It is there where I clutch my phone and scroll through endless feeds of new age hippie bullshit to find anything, anything at all to help alleviate the caving asphyxiation of my solar plexus

My anxiety likes small spaces

I can tell you every hidden corner and secret hole I have folded myself into throughout my entire conscious life

I make origami out of these bones and tuck myself away for later, pressed between pages of failed neural pathways only to fall out once forgotten about so that my return feels like a pleasantly unexpected surprise

I remember you were so shockingly impressed with my flexibility as I slipped my double jointed hip slightly out of socket while you slid yourself inside of me looking like a listless sinner who had just discovered church

Here is the back stairwell at the job I used to have and here is the desk under which I became invisible and over there is the lime green pantry in the house you used to come for me to and this is the trunk of my first car I would lock myself in just don't ever ask me to lay down in the back seat because this poem isn't about that

And this

This is the place between the cabinets and the stove where the kids keep their step stool and my assbones numb from the weight of my soul as it crashes down on me and this flat pack furniture though I wish it was you crashing into me making my assbones numb

And I'm starting to forget what your hands felt like

It is in this corner and other tight spaces I allow myself to release my grip on these shreds of sanity as the confines trap me from getting away from myself

Corners aren't sharp where I come from they are merely replica wombs from which I must violently emerge and bear myself again in silence

You liked it when I didn't have to stay quiet

But then you didn't recognize my voice on the phone

I couldn't make myself any smaller if I tried it's just my anxiety doesn't know what to do with sustenance so it purges it back out from whence it came just please don't ask me for a number it will only serve to worry you and this poem isn't about that either

I don't know why I need small spaces when it's always the vastness of the sea and the infinity of the stars that are calling my name by the sound of your voice when you're starting to finish

I just know when your memory threatens to devour me whole I put myself in the time-out seat and count backwards from ten sixteen twenty seven no eleven and I pray to gods I don't believe in that the next small space my heart will need

Is a grave.