For when panic begins to vibrate the backs
of your arms like they’re the trees and panic is
whatever vibrates the trees, leafhoppers
or helicopters, the psychiatrist tells you
to fill a small bag with handwritten notecards
promising this will end this will not
kill you this no one ever died from
and you add gum and headphones and a votive,
citrus verbena, a bridal shower party favor.
With masking tape and a Sharpie you write
Dymphna Dymphna, each side of the candle,
and draw your best version of a bouquet of lilies.
From patron saint of the nervous, the mad,
the runaways, you’ll ask for intercession:
Let you never again leave your nine-year-old
niece at a concert inside the Georgia Dome
and lie on a park bench, count to the right number
of sirens or power lines just to be able to breathe.
Let her never hold up your cell phone light,
one in the thousands of stars. Let her never
sway alone in the dark. Never notice you’re gone.