Anxiety in Motion
Her left hand flicks a cigarette that doesn’t
Need to be ashed. Her right hand clenches,
Fingers curling to her palm, and then,
She splays them all out again.
I’ve watched her for twenty-two minutes,
Counting the times she uncrosses her legs
And then crosses them again.
Sixteen times seems like too many.
In thirty minutes, I see her pattern:
Legs uncross, hand clenches shut,
Legs cross, hand opens wide.
I wonder if she times it?
Her trainwreck movements:
The jerks, the twitches, the constant motion.
I like the way her left hand never leaves her hair
When it isn’t flicking a cigarette.
Michele Lynn Pawlak is a second time SUNY student at Erie Community College, with a habit of writing, a penchant for coffee—good or bad—and a general appreciation of all things fictional.