Acrophobia

As I watch a black bird
fly to the top of a tree
I can’t help but wonder:
can birds be afraid of heights?

If so, do they get teased,
given nicknames like “kiwi”
and always being hit with seeds
from other bird bullies in high up trees?

What’s real estate like for them?
Do they have to pass up penthouses
for not so bougie bungalows
in the marshes with frogs and mosquitoes
as their not-so-conventional neighbors?

Are family gatherings a nightmare
spent trying to hold it together
hundreds of feet on a small tree branch
as in-laws talk about their new pet flea?

And do they even want to overcome their fear,
or have they become content with their life
preferring to live outside of the nestbox
close to ground?

I mull through this and the bird squawks
as it soars away to its next stop
reminding me to quit overthinking
and walk home

Loneliness

As I stand in my room,
watching a pool of loneliness
drift through my blinds
like poison gas,
I think:

Researchers say
the perception
of loneliness can kill;
it’s like smoking
fifteen cigarettes a day

I think how rude it can be
sneaking through quiet pleasantness
like the sound of neighbors talking
in thinly-walled apartment complexes

Turning solitude
into solitary confinement,
introspection to isolation,
wonder to withdrawal,
self-loving to self-loathing.

I feel it envelope me
with cold hands
of an abusive lover

It lies to me, saying
I need no one else
before throwing me
onto a poorly-made bed
filled with salt and ice

And as I lie here,
numbness spreading,
I think how

I’ll share my stories,
my fears and worries,
my strange peculiarities,
my unique idiosyncrasies,

And end the cycle
of false loneliness

Elevators

My emotions function
like a faulty elevator
with mislabeled buttons

Most times the buttons
screech upwards to anger
a peregrine falcon seizing
an insignificant insect

It’s common, or so I’m told;
most broken elevator
default to this

Some days they miss
by a few floors
the button for ecstasy
going to a small chuckle
or deep sobs of sorrow
to a single sniffle

on the worst days
the buttons fail
leaving me stranded
In a painfully silent
box