into the fear (1)


i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and shake until precious things wobble i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and shake until my tongue quivers and plops i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and stagger through sweat drenched dreams where i am cloaked in something deadly and constricting and incurable i fall to the floor and the wee bones in my neck snap like firecrackers bashed with a rock i watch as i wriggle and squinch like a pathetic worm about to be hooked and then i get up i have to get up i make myself get up i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and shake until a viscous and putrid wad of god-knows-what uncleaves from my teeming brain and plunks onto the cold creviced floor i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and tromp through the creases feathering the mouth of my nebulous doctor just tell me why just me when i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and squeeze out every trifling problem iíve ever dwelled on (cause this time itís real) i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and a tsunami of what-ifs ooze from my navel like angry pus i grab myself by the scruff of my neck but this time i go limp this time i refuse the pain and the panic this time i suck the venom from this ancient crusted sore and swallow until it hurts until it unhurts i grab myself by the scruff of my neck and hasten off to a place where i am cured.


______________________________________

Christine Tierneyís work has been nominated for Best of the Net, a Pushcart Prize, and the Best New Poets anthology, and has appeared in Fourteen Hills, Skidrow Penthouse, Sugar House Review, Poet Lore, Monkeybicycle, The Boiler Journal, Weave Magazine, theNewerYork, Lungfull!, and others. She is an MFA recipient from the University of Southern Maineís Stonecoast Writing Program and is employed as an afterschool director. For fun she takes pictures of decaying sunflowers in a makeshift studio (a wobbly table and some recycled cardboard) on her back porch.