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  • Anxious Poets Society


The day no one dies is a quiet hell: a man moans beside his car

crash, broken blinker stuck in the eye unblinking. A woman wakes to the sound

of silence, cold sweat, sprints to her baby's room. Sleep. Twenty thousand burglaries occur

like normal. Push-ups press against prison walls. Unsurprised suicides laugh at the inevitability

of falling forever, and drunk teenagers dive from high places concrete-skulled

with unconquerable smiles. The day no one dies every surgery is successful

prayers answered. The elderly give chocolate chip cookie grins for their grandkids

while at night they ask “Why? Why?” to open ovens. No graves get dug. Miracle

is a 79 cent dream at the gas station, hot dogs turning beside it slow with promise. Breath

baited, needing what once was--to perish--we wait for you, guns in our hands. Like a kid called

to bed from the garage waits, hand over the switch, watching

a bug drift closer and closer to the light.


James is a queer (they/them) poet from Scottsdale, Arizona, currently finishing their undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University. A musician as well as poet and fiction writer, James has a history with anxiety and depression, and they hope the reader finds something familiar, and hopefully healing, in their work.

#quiet #broken #prison #light

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