The Quotable

The Talking Cure

I used to think understanding would be enough,
that all those costly conversations uncovering
why certain things made me feel a certain way

would eventually make the hard times less so.
Instead, I’m stuck with a lifelong fight or flight
apparatus rusted shut on flight. It doesn’t care

how articulate I am as long as it can pour panic
into me as predictably as a canal lock refilling.
I have methods for management and methods

for prevention, but it never occurred to me that
in the end, reason would be useless as a tool.
So I am resigned to feeling plagued, to being

brought low by mere thoughts, regretting all
the hours I spent working this out like a math
problem with zero application to everyday life.


Michael Milburn teaches high school English in New Haven, CT.  His third book of poems, Carpe Something, was published by Word Press last summer.


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