One for me and one for my anxiety
Thing is though that I don’t like coffee, but I’m forced to drink it
He’s company that I don’t want over, but continues to talk
I can’t find an end to our conversation, and I’m handcuffed to a chair and the key is right in front of me
“More sugar?” he says,
“No, I’m fine, thanks.”
But he does not listen
He pours sugar into my cup creating mountains
Except those mountains to you are speed bumps and to me they are suicide cliffs
Cliffs that I’m standing on the edge of with no parachute
One single gust of wind will push my body off that mountain, and I descend miles down,
to god knows where

The steam of the coffee lingers in the air and I tense
It feels as if a bullet has entered my spine paralyzing every single inch of me
I raise the cup to my face, trying to keep my hands as steady as possible making sure not
to spill the hot coffee all over me

I am accompanied by the smell of something that brings me back to a memory
A memory which I don’t want to remember
This memory is on the tip of my tongue and it’s burning
It’s in my throat, my stomach, my arms, legs, feet, hands, toes, every single hair on my
head
I can remember where that smell is from and I don’t like it

Some people can deal with the taste of coffee
But for me, I can’t stand the slightest sip of it
My cup overflows creating pools that I’m drowning in
Pixie sticks filled with fear, worry, tension, anxiety
This is a sugar rush that has no crash
This is an everlasting awkward first date that I don’t want to be on
I tell myself it’s okay there’s nothing to worry about
But he always finds a way into the crevice of my mind and makes himself at home
I drink the coffee, not because I want to, but because I have to

It slips down my throat, ever so smoothly, like knives and spoons hitting my esophagus
Sending my words down even further in my gut and the only thing that comes out is
silence
I can’t bear thinking about the words that could come out of my mouth
For fearing they will trip and stumble on the dryness of my tongue

He’s a two-part recipe that I can’t seem to get right
Because I don’t spend time in my kitchen, but in my own mind
I am a brittle tree who can’t last in the rain without having my limbs feel numb
I’m the kid in math class that still doesn’t understand that lesson after going over it
three times
I’ve never been good at math and the more I think about it, the more wrong the answer
gets and the anxiety is multiplied

This is a sugar high that he’s put me on that I can’t come down from
My mind is a guessing game of how many candies are in the jar
But there’s an infinite amount of numbers to choose from and I can’t quite pick
I don’t know who set me up with you, but I don’t enjoy your company

Listen to me when I tell you, I will not drink the coffee
Because my coffee is cold.

Austin Bralynski is a sophomore majoring in Photography and Video at SVA.