Tyler Raso

Anxiety Aubade, or My Therapist Has a Breakthrough

Santa Cruz, CA, 2018, summer

At the gym, I am on the stationary bike
talking to my therapist. Though she is gray
and pink and splash, she says

everything is electricity. I am
on the stationary bike talking to my therapist
and beyond us there is music

like the earth, and there is the sound
of people making their bodies
a planet, like dolls. She says you are

a wheel golden with sparks. She draws
a ring on her palm, a bruise. And she makes
the bruise breathe and swallow and

stutter like moonlight. I am 
on the stationary bike talking to my therapist.
Over the phone, I can’t see the wheel.

She says my anxiety is a bright
and living thing. Here, I see salt and
water and therefore drowning

in two things at once. I see the water
breaking like glass, with bodies.
I see the sky as it falls 

into more sky like a knot. 
My therapist says All things in the world
are somewhere between

pain and stillness. My therapist asks
Does it hurt to think and I know
she pinches her inner wrist

like a telephone wire and I know her eyes
are wide and searching like bells.

And the wind squints like a prism.
And the wind is empty as a prayer.

So I say, everyone looks so beautiful 
when they swim.

Tyler Raso is an MFA Candidate at Indiana University, where they currently act as Nonfiction Editor of the Indiana Review. Their work is featured or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, RHINO, A Velvet Giant, The London Magazine, and elsewhere.