After Edvard Munch’s Anxiety, 1894

Drunk panorama hems in a crowd. Cattle-car press, methodical terror horde. Boats in the harbor float serene, even though the hills lash the sky. These people are all dying from miasma or some divine crush. Just don’t know when. Must he stand so close? Left foot, right foot, pitch and yaw. A gas mask will not keep her safe here. Too much startlement maxxes out the reflex. Sound of soles scraping the pavement itches the eardrums, induces a twitch. Occasional stridor erupts from her throat. Submission will not keep him safe here. The hills lash the hills lash the boiling sky. Their tilts and lilts oppose one another. Teeth chatter like an unsteady teacup. Saucer eyes and pinned pupils. Everyone’s got a tremor. They may experience anaphylaxis. The procession will last indefinitely.

her hands in a blur
attack her stifling collar
find no remedy


Jill Khoury earned her Masters of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Sentence, Harpur Palate, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and RHINO. Mark Doty picked her poem “Certain Seams,” as a third place winner in the Split This Rock 2013 poetry contest. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net award. Her chapbook Borrowed Bodies was released from Pudding House Press. You can find her at