The Boiler

Jacqueline Boucher

PARADELLE FOR GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER

Not quite wing or cage wrought like wringing hand.
Not quite wing or cage wrought like wringing hand.
But venom lung, piano wire neck and hiss.
But venom lung, piano wire neck and hiss.
Like wing and lung, wringing neck or venom
cage. Not quite piano, but hand-wrought hiss.

This oak of my ankle unstable with marrow rot.
This oak of my ankle unstable with marrow rot.
Shrink. Make holy in my guts through mantra and rain.
Shrink. Make holy in my guts through mantra and rain.
With marrow and mantra, make rot in this rain.
Unstable my guts through holy oak, shrink of my ankle.

Today, my mirror sketches a jagged circle of me.
Today, my mirror sketches a jagged circle of me.
Maybe someday, rounded corners, all pretty and calm.
Maybe someday, rounded corners, all pretty and calm.
Pretty sketches and calm corners circle a jagged
mirror, someday rounded. Today, maybe all of me.

All my pretty guts, holy with venom, rain and hiss.
Mantra: shrink. Make mirror, cage this marrow
and lung wrought like corners of jagged oak
and ankle. But someday sketches of not quite calm
wire through me, unstable neck or rounded wing.
Today: my hand. This circle a wringing rot in piano.

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Jacqueline Boucher is an MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University, where she studies spoken word poetry and its ties to social justice and community organization. She currently serves as Managing Editor of Passages North. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Superstition Review, Split Lip, The Butter, and other magazines.