Poetry: “A Corner”


There is a line like a slide of paper across skin.

A wisp like a hair between the world and madness.

There is a paste of panic waiting to be broken like a cobweb or a womb.

In walking, something vibrates, frightening and soft.

Blurry and demanding and full-up with attention.


I can be calm.

I can walk and breathe and I can deny this thing.

It is like living with an animal.

I can be calm.


I feel a ground without substance.

I see a buzzing, timid nerve. An anger without mercy.

I sit in a corner.

I notice the moment when my head is ballooned and blue and numb and

Everything is very funny.

And I know how people can do it –

One moment foaming into the next,

One foot following the other, over a step, past a hairline,

Under a crack in a door, and gone.



© Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni

Winner:  5th Place, Grand Prize Category, “American Poetry Anthology 1988”

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